A little over a year ago I mentioned here taking in a Jeb Bush speech at the Reagan Library that sounded like the speech of someone at the early stages of a presidential campaign, albeit one that appeared to want to run as . . . Jon Huntsman. Ugh.
This, from today’s Washington Post:
LAS VEGAS — 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.
Concerned that the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal has damaged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political standing and alarmed by the steady rise of Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), prominent donors, conservative leaders and longtime operatives say they consider Bush the GOP’s brightest hope to win back the White House.
Bush’s advisers insist that he is not actively exploring a candidacy and will not make a decision until at least the end of this year.
It’s a long story filled with lots of details that all add up to someone calculating very deliberately to enter the race at some point. Just look at the last sentence quoted above: “Bush’s advisers”? Who has “advisers” that isn’t actively contemplating a run? Bush says he’s “not thinking about it,” but will make up his mind by early next year. How do you make up your mind if you’re not thinking about it?
Later the story notes he is defending the controversial “Common Core” curriculum that originated in Washington DC (which means it’s surely a commonly bad idea).
I believe Bush was a good governor of Florida and in the abstract would make a good president (though Obama has set the bar so low right now that anyone looks good), but can it really be a good thing for the nation to contemplate the specter of a Bush-Clinton race in 2016?