Report: Jeb Bush likely to endorse Romney before Florida primary

posted at 7:45 pm on January 12, 2012 by Allahpundit

Surprising. The odds of this happening, given the Bush family’s antipathy to Gingrich and Perry, couldn’t have been much higher than 98 or 99 percent.

Second look at political dynasties backing establishment candidates?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush plans to endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney before the Jan. 31 Florida primary, a Florida GOP source close to Bush told BuzzFeed Thursday.

The endorsement from Bush, who despite prodding from members of his famous family and prominent Republicans decided to sit out the 2012 contest, is the latest sign that the Republican establishment is coalescing around Romney after months publicly griping about finding another candidate…

The Florida Herald-Tribune reported yesterday that First Lady Laura Bush told a Sunshine State audience this week that her husband “and I wish he would [run for president.] We wanted him to this time.”

If there’s any significance to this scoop, that’s it — that the odds of Jeb jumping in late to shake up the race have now declined from a fraction of one percent to absolute zero. I want more details on the timing, though. It makes no sense for Bush to wait until after South Carolina to endorse Romney since Romney’s almost certainly going to win Florida regardless. He leads there in all the recent polls, one of which has him up by more than 20 points, and he’s probably the only candidate in the field who can afford the huge expense of a sustained ad campaign there. Unless Sheldon Adelson’s ready to pour millions more into Newt’s Super PAC, Mitt might be able to lose South Carolina to Newt and still bounce back to win Florida. If he’s got Jeb’s endorsement, he should roll it out a day or two before SC votes in hopes of pulling some moderates away from Huntsman and squeaking past Newt to wrap up the nomination. Having Bush stump for him there would also make for a sweet complement to the support he’s getting from DeMint’s more conservative allies, including praise — if not a formal endorsement — from DeMint himself.

Here’s Jeb with Piers Morgan back in October talking about how “consistent” Romney is, which must be the first term any human has said that ever. Beneath that,


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