Trump: Bush’s Stalking Horse?

In my interrogatories about Trump a week ago, I asked Trump enthusiasts the following question:

Are you happy that Trump is essentially a stalking horse for Jeb Bush? If Trump wins some early primaries in a crowded field it will be with less than 20 percent of the vote, but it will likely cause the party establishment—such as still exists—to rally around Bush, just as Democrats rallied to Michael Dukakis in 1988 after Jesse Jackson swept a round of Super Tuesday primaries in the South and caused panic at DNC headquarters.

The New York Times reports today:

Donald J. Trump’s surge in the polls has been met with barely concealed delight by Jeb Bush and his supporters. Mr. Trump’s bombastic ways have simultaneously made it all but impossible for those vying to be the alternative to Mr. Bush to emerge, and easier for Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, to position himself as the serious and thoughtful alternative to a candidate who has upended the early nominating process. . .

“The longer it goes, the greater the panic is going to build,” said Alex Castellanos, a longtime Republican strategist. “And that means you may not have the luxury to flirt with an undeveloped, budding candidate. Trump has set the Republican Party on fire, and if you’re going to put that fire out you don’t have time to waste. You’re going to have to grab the biggest blanket you got and throw it, and right now that’s Jeb.” . . .

Privately, Mr. Bush’s top strategists, who have become increasingly fixated on halting Mr. Walker, believe that Mr. Trump is nothing short of a godsend. That is because Mr. Trump is drawing support from voters — blue-collar, less-educated, more conservative — who are unlikely ever to support Mr. Bush but are essential to Mr. Walker’s candidacy.

Remember, Power Line was there first.