The Political Party Elites Have Spoken: It's Bush vs. Clinton in 2016
I have no objections to Jeb Bush running for president. He obviously has a wide appeal as a potential candidate. With a Mexican wife, and as a man who speaks fluent Spanish, he would be able to increase the Hispanic vote in the GOP column. On the other hand, many in the Republican base find his position on immigration untenable, and would fight him tooth and nail during primary season. He is also a serious advocate of education reform. His support of Common Core, however, will also find many who are in the conservative ranks objecting, since they fear that Common Core represents educational centralism and having the government ram federal standards down their throats.
What I do object to is that Bush is already being heralded as the obvious candidate, the man to whom the big money must and will flow. As the Washington Post reports:
Many of the Republican Party’s most powerful insiders and financiers have begun a behind-the-scenes campaign to draft former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the 2016 presidential race, courting him and his intimates and starting talks on fundraising strategy.
Apparently, whoever makes up this somewhat mysterious Republican “establishment” fears that their former hope, Gov. Chris Christie, is damaged goods. Secondly, they fear that unless they intervene quickly behind a chosen candidate, Sen. Rand Paul could win the nomination and, in a time of the necessity of strong actions abroad by the United States, could push their party and the country in an isolationist direction. As one prominent unnamed bundler told the reporters about Jeb Bush, “he’s the most desired candidate out there.” The article goes on to note that at a moment’s notice, Bush could activate a waiting national fundraising effort that would give him more funds than any competitor in the Republican ranks.
Whatever happened to letting members of the Republican Party choose their own candidate freely, and holding a convention in which delegates actually can make their own choice for the nominee? Evidently, that moment has already passed, and the folks who gave us McCain and Romney have already made up their minds.
Again, I do not necessarily agree with the arguments against a Bush run, but those arguments will be made, and the threat always is lurking in the wings that some conservatives, finding that their favored candidate is not likely to get the nod, will begin to talk about running a “real conservative” on an independent line in 2016. And such an act would siphon off just the right amount of votes to put Hillary Clinton in office.
As for the Democratic Party, its equivalents in the big-money community have anointed Hillary as their preferred candidate. Like Jeb Bush, she has not said she is going to run, but is already taking all the steps to have the money ready to flow and the organizations on the ground should she decide to take the step.
Hillary Clinton also has obvious vulnerabilities: Benghazi, Benghazi and Benghazi for a start, followed by the “Russian reset” with which she is identified. And nationally, Hillary would do all she could to counter her negatives by resurrecting the charge that Republicans are “waging a war on women,” and by arguing that nothing could destroy their goal more than putting the first woman president in the White House.