The inevitable “draft Jeb” campaign shifts into high gear

posted at 9:31 am on March 30, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

The chore of determining who is the inevitable candidate for Republicans – at least in the minds of beltway insiders and the media – is clearly becoming more difficult. But the Washington Post takes a swing at the problem this weekend as they delve into the number of big donors who are now courting Jeb Bush to get off the bench and toss his hat in the ring.

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…

Many if not most of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s major donors are reaching out to Bush and his confidants with phone calls, e-mails and invitations to meet, according to interviews with 30 senior Republicans. One bundler estimated that the “vast majority” of Romney’s top 100 donors would back Bush in a competitive nomination fight.

One fly in the ointment is that Bush is still insisting that he won’t be making a decision until the end of this year, or possibly the beginning of next year. It’s not an unreasonable position, since people are still working hard on the upcoming mid-terms, but it looks as if it’s frustrating to some of the serious bundlers who want to get to work early. For his part, Bush is still telling reporters that his decision will hinge on whether or not he can “run joyfully” for the nomination, since Republicans will need a standard bearer who can lift their spirits and bring a positive message.

That may not play well with the base these days, though. Bush isn’t just rusty from more than six years on the sidelines. He’s also racked up some serious hits among conservative voters for his positions on immigration and Common Core, among other things. Upon reading this piece, Dan Gainor of Media Research Center immediately took to Twitter with the following:

I wouldn’t be too shocked to see more of that popping up. But in order for this next primary cycle to play out according to the preordained script, we have to have a big, conventional wisdom, establishment candidate to face down the grassroots upstarts, right? And if turns out that Christie is damaged goods and it’s not Bush, then who would it be?


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Draft beer, not Bush.

fogw on March 30, 2014 at 11:01 AM

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Unless he gags and ties his daddy to a chair on some remote farm he won’t get too far because the media will bait his daddy and his daddy can’t resist that temptation.

workingclass artist on March 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM

That is indeed a possibility, though, I also think Rand is smart enough to find a way to gag ole dad and prevent that from happening.

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM

I doubt that.

I don’t think I’d want another freshman senator anyway.

I’d prefer an experienced conservative governor with a record of success.

workingclass artist on March 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM

This is the argument the Republican establishment posters here use to persuade me I should be voting Republican. Clearly, just as much political savvy at the grassroots here at HA as at the national level//

Pless1foEngrish on March 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Even my low information voter apolitical brother has noticed that there is a serious uptick in voters changing their registration to Independent.

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Draft beer, not Bush.

fogw on March 30, 2014 at 11:01 AM

That would make a GREAT bumper sticker.

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Re: earlier comments about whether Pence is running or not- just saw this article/video. He didn’t announce, but he sure didn’t rule it out either:

http://fox59.com/2014/03/30/gov-pence-discusses-legislative-session-presidential-speculation/#axzz2xSTOs4ed

Hm.

cs89 on March 30, 2014 at 11:07 AM

The GOP elite would rather lose the presidency to the Dems than lose control of the party to the conservatives.

Wethal on March 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 10:37 AM
I’m not there yet . There seems to be some confusion about
the illegals that are already here . The 11m , 30 m , or how
ever many . I’ll try to find the quotes from Rand on the issue .
I’d sure rather have Rand over Jeb !

Lucano on March 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Did it take this long for the Whigs to get the message a die out?

FrankT on March 30, 2014 at 9:37 AM

The Whigs never died out. They’re trying to nominate Jeb Bush right now.

trigon on March 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM

No Bush. No Clinton No Obama. No Kennedy. No monarchy.

ncjetsfan on March 30, 2014 at 11:11 AM

NO!

trs on March 30, 2014 at 11:13 AM

LOL. No one ever talks about what a train wreck Jeb’s family is. Sheesh. Do they REALLY want their base to have to spend the entire election season going “I know his kid is a drug addict, but… I know his wife goes on expensive Paris shopping sprees and then lies to Customs about her purchases, but… I know he supports amnesty, but…”

NO! NO! NO! I am NOT going to vote for a but-monkey for president! Never, ever again.

Rational Thought on March 30, 2014 at 11:13 AM

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Changing registration can be dangerous in some
states . A disaster in Florida because you need
to be able to vote in the primaries …………
STOP JEB BUSH

Lucano on March 30, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Why aren’t the money bags talking to Pence?

Rational Thought on March 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Changing registration can be dangerous in some
states . A disaster in Florida because you need
to be able to vote in the primaries …………
STOP JEB BUSH

Lucano on March 30, 2014 at 11:15 AM

The only reason this Floridian will be changing her reg back to R again.

bazil9 on March 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

The only reason this Floridian will be changing her reg back to R again.

bazil9 on March 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Just remember sweetheart… A vote for Mickey Mouse, is a vote for, errr, Mickey Mouse… <— Insert maniacal laughter here.

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Jeb who?

Oxymoron on March 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Libertyship46 on March 30, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Good point but, overly simplistic. If you really want to know how Hilly lost, catch this.

http://papundits.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/barack%e2%80%99s-magical-mystery-tour/

Archimedes on March 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

oscarwilde on March 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM

lol….I think Mickey will be voting D..as he always does. ;)

bazil9 on March 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

If Jeb Bush is the nominee, get used to hearing “Madam President”.

myiq2xu on March 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

No.

Lance Corvette on March 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

The RINO geniuses whose livelihood is politics groused that Romney lost because conservatives refused to turn out like good stupid soldiers, and now they want to nominate Bush? It’s beyond sad. You want to see conservatives stay home on election day in a way that will make Romney’s turnout look like a Tsunami of wild enthusiasm? Go ahead — jam Jeb down our throats.

rrpjr on March 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Go for it. Lets end the GOP now.

nobar on March 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

according to the preordained script, we have to have a big, conventional wisdom, establishment candidate to face down the grassroots upstarts

If Bush actually cared about enhancing the likelihood of a Republican victory, he would announce that he is not running, will not run, and will not accept a draft.

If the establishment actually cared about enhancing the likelihood of a Republican victory, they would be focusing all of their time, effort, money, and resources on the 2014 election.

pilsener on March 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Wasn’t Jeb named after a Confederate general?

faraway on March 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Back to the future———-Bush vs Clinton. Let’s look at a new name. Cruz has a nice ring to it and I think he can.

Herb on March 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Lets see, so the choice they want to put in front of us is:
Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Scott Walker.
To be sure any are better that Hilary Clinton, but they are all statists. We have had statist presidents for all of my entire life. Why is it the establishment has to pick the candidates? And why is it whether that candidate be democrat or republican, it must be a statist? Same ole, same ole.

While I am not endorsing anyone at this time, Rand Pau is not a statist. Rand Paul truly brings a more constitutional ideology to government. Why is this a bad thing? Why are the statists mentioned above better to lead a constitutional republic than a literal constitutionalist?

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Back to the future———-Bush vs Clinton. Let’s look at a new name. Cruz has a nice ring to it and I think he can.

Herb on March 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Yes T-shirts now available!

http://unsavoryagents.com

redguy on March 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

What a joke… truly.

MT on March 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Do not want.

Will not vote.

Midas on March 30, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Yes, we’d better get that RINO Nominated before the dweebs nominate someone who could not only win, but be effective at conservative governance!

jaydee_007 on March 30, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Jeb is a credible candidate, were it not for his name and his views. He can raise money but not the conservative base. Therefore he cannot win.

virgo on March 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Go for it. Lets end the GOP now.

nobar on March 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

I agree. The farce is getting tiresome.

rrpjr on March 30, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Yes T-shirts now available!

http://unsavoryagents.com

redguy on March 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Sweet – just ordered the shirt. Have no problem supporting a conservative artist and getting a killer shirt in the process. :)

Midas on March 30, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Jeb is a credible candidate, were it not for his name and his views.

virgo on March 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

LOL, struck me as funny.

Midas on March 30, 2014 at 12:16 PM

No more Bush or Clinton in the White House again ever. We as a nation can do better. I’m tired of being ruled by the Ivy League lawyers who never worked an honest job.

simkeith on March 30, 2014 at 12:27 PM

“Stay out of the Bushes”. 8^)

Whiterock on March 30, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Scott Walker, Mike Pence….etc.

When establishment types keep telling us to look to “governors who are successful…” I think one motivation for that is that they fear either Cruz or Paul gaining real traction.

That the current occupant of the WH was a 160 day U.S. Senator says nothing about how Cruz or Paul would govern.

And I know there are lots of Walker fans hanging around here. But when he looks over at Christie and tells an interviewer that “Christie is conservative enough…” that tells you something about what he thinks conservatism is. It tells you something when he opposes the shutdown.

And it tells me something when he says he is for legalization of illegal aliens (and then tries to walk it back). Put him in the WH, and we will be officially open borders before the end of his first term.

EastofEden on March 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM

When establishment types keep telling us to look to “governors who are successful…” I think one motivation for that is that they fear either Cruz or Paul gaining real traction.
EastofEden on March 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Great points. Cracking establishment code — it’s always about fear. Their fear is the greatest commendation of all.

rrpjr on March 30, 2014 at 12:34 PM

absolutely….NO!

CoffeeLover on March 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Rational Thought on March 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

My guess is that, although he’s in the same office Daniels was in leading up to ’12 (when folks were trying to get him into the race), Pence seems to be more conservative than the “establishment” types want to actually as POTUS…

cs89 on March 30, 2014 at 12:41 PM

One of our debate candidates should be a mudslinging, gunslinging, all barrels firing type of person, versed in Conservatism, to rip apart this travesty we have been living for the last five years, on live t.v. If they made it to the final four I would be happy. I’ll take the Southern Hick for my first pick, followed by the Guy with the Crazy Father.
(Just warming up the meme)

Whiterock on March 30, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Not just no but hell no.

bbinfl on March 30, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Just from the perspective of raw politics, how can these rich and presumably successful donors honestly believe that ANYONE with the surname of Bush would be able to pull off a win?

Pless1foEngrish on March 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM

What if the fascist oligarchy wins regardless of whether Bush or Clinton is the next president and their main concern is to prevent a liberty-loving, free-market reformer from winning who would try to kill the corrupt, rigged game they have set up in Washington DC?

FloatingRock on March 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Why aren’t the money bags talking to Pence?

Rational Thought on March 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

The big money people are only looking at certain types of candidates. What are the common threads between Rubio, Bush, and Christie?

Pence, Perry or even Scott Walker is too ” right wing extremist” for these donors.

Doomberg on March 30, 2014 at 12:52 PM

What if the fascist oligarchy wins regardless of whether Bush or Clinton is the next president and their main concern is to prevent a liberty-loving, free-market reformer from winning who would try to kill the corrupt, rigged game they have set up in Washington DC?

We have ourselves a winner

Whiterock on March 30, 2014 at 1:01 PM

It would not surprise me to find out Bush, Clinton, Rove, Axelrod, Christy, Biden, Romney and Ryan all play poker together. Ryan being the Camp B!tch of course.

Whiterock on March 30, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I’m no longer persuaded by the “it won’t be quite as bad with a Republican Prez/Senate/House” argument. Even if were true in the past (demonstrably not so much), I’m not sure that’s true any more.

Pless1foEngrish on March 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM

That is how I feel – we keep getting told that if we don’t elect even some squishy GOP candidate it will be so much worse. Sort of what one considers worse.

katiejane on March 30, 2014 at 1:16 PM

The crux of the matter is the money people want to get someone elected who will keep the status quo.

crankyoldlady on March 30, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Here we go again, desperately trying to find a RINO that the press will like.

Dole….

McCain….

Romney….

itsspideyman on March 30, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Post has big article about push to nominate Jeb Bush for GOP. I won’t EVER vote for Jeb. If he gets nomination, mark me down as busy.

He would have scored a bigger hit if he had wrote “I won’t EVER vote for Bush.”

Seriously though, there are few candidates that justify a NEVER stance. I don’t believe Christie is one of them. Romney was not one of them. Huntsman, for example would have been. Jeb Bush is.

On so many levels, a Bush candidacy would be a blow to conservatism, libertarianism, AND moderates AND America’s political culture.

You could measure the GOP’s political obligation to Democrats and liberals with a shotglass, and nominating Jeb Bush would somehow run afoul of that, too.

HitNRun on March 30, 2014 at 1:33 PM

NO:

Bushs
Clintons
Kennedys
obamas

…and any other clans.

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM

What if the fascist oligarchy wins regardless of whether Bush or Clinton is the next president and their main concern is to prevent a liberty-loving, free-market reformer from winning who would try to kill the corrupt, rigged game they have set up in Washington DC?

FloatingRock on March 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Yes, this is reasonable if their only motive for spending vast sums of money is to block any conservative from the nomination. Seems more like guaranteeing a Hillary win, though. Aren’t there cheaper ways than spending a billion dollars on Jeb?

I agree they don’t all care whether the More-Progressive Party or the Slightly-Less-Progressive Party candidate wins.

Pless1foEngrish on March 30, 2014 at 1:50 PM

NOW can we start a third party? At least we would be able to sow the seeds for a national candidate in later elections by electing local, congressional, and senate candidates now.

GOPe is a loser party, dedicated to the status quo and keeping the gravy train running. We, the proletariat are not their concern.

captnjoe on March 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Biden/Cruz

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I think Jeb and a certain group of backers is in the same place he was 2012..He is trying to decide to run or find someone he (they) can back to run..I do not think he will get in the race..They are just “feeling out” some things but in the end he will not get in the GOP primary in 2016..:)

Dire Straits on March 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

I don’t have the stamina for ANOTHER Bush. Time for new bloodlines, and new ideas. I’m supporting Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, either would be okay for my vote.

joecollins on March 30, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I quite enjoy how many of the same people that say Rick Perry is a great idea, say no way to Jeb Bush.

Your heads must really hurt.

Moesart on March 30, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I quite enjoy how many of the same people that say Rick Perry is a great idea, say no way to Jeb Bush.
Moesart on March 30, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I could support Rick Perry.

I wouldn’t fu*king vote for fuc*ing Jeb Bush if you fu*king paid me.

rrpjr on March 30, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Dire Straits on March 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

I think you’re right….

EastofEden on March 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

EastofEden on March 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

We will see..But the GOP “Blue Bloods” will have a candidate that is one of them or one they can get behind..:)

Dire Straits on March 30, 2014 at 2:39 PM

VIDEO: Jeb Bush supports amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens
http://youtu.be/A8pnr6zyyGA

bluegill on March 30, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I think Jeb and a certain group of backers is in the same place he was 2012..He is trying to decide to run or find someone he (they) can back to run..I do not think he will get in the race..They are just “feeling out” some things but in the end he will not get in the GOP primary in 2016..:)
Dire Straits on March 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Why do you put a smiley face at the end of all of your comments? Are you idesign?

Also, you are known as an establishment-favoring RINO on this site, and you seem to like to defend Christie and Rubio against conservative criticism, so I am curious about whether you would prefer pro-amnesty Jeb Bush to Rubio or Christie. Seems like he’d be your ideal guy.

bluegill on March 30, 2014 at 3:11 PM

NO:

Bushs
Clintons
Kennedys
obamas

…and any other clans.

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Exactly how I feel about it. I will not vote for Jeb in 2016.

shubalstearns on March 30, 2014 at 3:16 PM

bluegill on March 30, 2014 at 3:11 PM

It is just a “trademark..:)

PS..I’m a Rino??..Do you even know what that means??..:)

Dire Straits on March 30, 2014 at 3:19 PM

How many times must I say this? Either Walker runs or the GOP loses. The base needs to face reality.

Midwestprincesse on March 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Here’s what I don’t get: how could anyone with even a modicum of intelligence believe that Jeb Bush would have a prayer of winning the presidency? The brother of George W. Bush, a/k/a the Emmanuel Goldstein of low information voters across the country? The LIV’s won’t vote for him because of his last name, conservatives won’t vote for him because he’s only a step or two to the right of Hillary, and progressives wouldn’t vote for him because he’s a step or two to the right of Hillary. He wouldn’t stand a chance. Are these “influential Republicans” (idiots, in other words) actually TRYING to lose?

Either way, count me among those who will not vote for Jeb Bush of he is the nominee in 2016. I’ve held my nose and voted too many times in my life already. Never again.

Shadow on March 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Moesart on March 30, 2014 at 2:18 PM

How so? Does Perry have relatives who have inhabited the White House I am unaware of, or somehow have a record that is “moderate” like Jeb?

/s

cs89 on March 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I have to wonder if this isn’t a narrative being promulgated by Democrats in order to depress and demoralize Republican voters.

Murf76 on March 30, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Yeah, just what the Republican Party needs, another moderate, another Bush. They are trying really hard to lose the third Presidential election in a row.

kjatexas on March 30, 2014 at 5:50 PM

It’s not his position on immigration, it’s his position on what to do about the nation invasion (similar to home invasion, but on an immensely larger scale – tens of millions) that the Republican base finds not “untenable”, but highly anti-American. His position is to facilitate Chamber of Commerce financial interests in acquiring still more serf labor at the expensive of the American worker, to aid and abet the further ethnic cleansing of Mexico, and to turn the United States of America into a third world one party socialist state.

VorDaj on March 30, 2014 at 7:27 PM

he Dirty Little “Secret”: The reason that politician supporters of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, like Jeb Bush, want it is so that they and/or their campaign contributors can have serf labor. They would probably prefer actual out-and-out slaves but that is illegal. “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” Democrats, like Obama, also want it so that those who are now illegal can become legal and vote for them, if they aren’t voting for them already.

Does anyone think that any of these “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” politicians actually care one wit otherwise for the illegals. Does anyone think that any of the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” politicians are going to invite these Mexican Indios and Mezclados to join their elite/exclusive golf clubs? Come to live in their gated communities, other than as servants? Invite them to their yachts, other than as low paid deck hands and/or servants? Invite them to their cocktail parties? Introduce them to their daughters?

The big majority of the Mexicans who have come here/will come here are Indios and Mezclados, not the Spanish descendant fair-skinned ruling class of Mexico. This is a form of ethnic cleansing by Mexico’s ruling class. So these “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” politicians, like Jeb Bush, are aiding and abetting and facilitating ethnic cleansing. If the U.N. were not such a joke, they would all be standing trial for trying to reintroduce a form of latter-day-slavery in the United States and for the mass ethnic cleansing of Mexico.

VorDaj on March 30, 2014 at 7:33 PM

If Jeb Bush is the nominee, get used to hearing “Madam President”.

myiq2xu on March 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Unfortunately Hillary is going to be very hard to beat no matter who the Rs nominate. It will be easier with two white men on the ticket, particularly if one has the last name of Bush.

cat_owner on March 30, 2014 at 8:09 PM

The Whigs never died out. They’re trying to nominate Jeb Bush right now.

trigon on March 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Bingo.

oryguncon on March 30, 2014 at 9:38 PM

RNC, nominate another RINO and watch many of us sit this one out. FU very much!

Doomsday on March 30, 2014 at 9:41 PM

As the popular ex-governor of the third largest state and with fluency in Spanish and an Hispanic wife and half-Hispanic son, Jeb Bush would indeed make a formidable candidate. However, a Bush candidacy would make progressives ecstatic because, no matter who wins, a liberal will occupy the White House.

MaiDee on March 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM

No. Bush is for Common Core. No RINOs!

Krupnikas on March 31, 2014 at 3:12 PM

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