Bill Kristol: C’mon, there’s no way Jeb Bush will be the nominee

posted at 3:21 pm on April 8, 2014 by Allahpundit

Ben Smith said the same thing yesterday, writing that “the notion that Jeb Bush is going to be the Republican presidential nominee is a fantasy nourished by the people who used to run the Republican Party.” Used to? We went into battle against ObamaCare in 2012 with the guy who signed a law that paved the way for ObamaCare. We faced an electorate that was war-weary after five years of Iraq in 2008 with the most hawkish possible candidate we could find. Never, ever underestimate the establishment’s ability to sell a bad candidate to the masses of Republican primary voters who don’t pay much attention to politics and are eager for a familiar, theoretically “electable” choice. Tell ‘em what’s up, Ramesh:

As I’ve argued in several Bloomberg columns, the party since 1984 has given its presidential nomination only to people who are at its ideological center of gravity or to its left, and never to anyone to its right. There are reasons for that pattern — having to do with, among other things, the perennial inability of the party’s right to agree on a candidate — and those reasons haven’t disappeared.

Neither Perry nor Huntsman had the support of the party’s establishment, or the national network of funders and supporters, that Bush would have. Perry’s notorious immigration comment during the 2012 campaign — he called some of his opponents heartless on the issue — harmed him so badly because he needed to solidify the conservative end of the party against an establishment candidate, Mitt Romney…

Bush’s position within the primary electorate, in other words, would be more like that of Senator John McCain — who won the nomination not so long ago, in 2008. Actually, it would be better than McCain’s, as McCain’s record included a lot more deviations from the party line than Bush’s does.

Let me paint you a picture. Bush announces he’s running. Soon after, Rubio announces that he isn’t, having concluded that too many of his potential advisors and fundraisers will gravitate towards Jeb. Paul Ryan likewise decides he’ll pass, figuring his best bet at influence is as the next Ways and Means chairman. Bush hits the trail, talking up education reform and ticking off a few well-chosen points of disagreement with his brother’s foreign policy. Meanwhile, Christie, his main rival for establishment support, is too damaged by Bridgegate and never gathers much momentum. Neither does Jindal, who’s overshadowed by bigger-name candidates both to his left (Bush) and his right (Rand Paul and Ted Cruz) and can’t quite find a niche. Bush, now largely unchallenged in the center and center-right, consolidates their support. Over on the right, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz bash each other’s brains in on foreign policy and the NSA until one of them emerges as the conservative choice. That’s when Bush’s backers launch a ferocious campaign attacking Cruz/Paul as fringe material — government shutdowns! a disarmed military! — who’ll never stand a chance against Hillary. It works and Jeb sweeps to the nomination, only to lose badly in the general when voters are forced to decide whether they want to return to “the Clinton era” or “the Bush era.” The only X factor in all this is Scott Walker, who’s prominent enough after his big fight with the unions to find the sort of niche that’ll elude Jindal. He could be a compromise candidate between the right, which fears that Cruz and Paul really aren’t electable, and the center, which fears that the Bush brand will be poison in the general election. Bushworld will have to deal with Walker somehow. If he loses his bid for reelection as governor in Wisconsin, that’ll do it, but no one expects him to. How do you destroy him on the launch pad?

When push comes to shove, I think the GOP establishment in the tea-party era regards its first and most important duty to be stopping conservative candidates in the primary. Partly that’s because they think ideologues can’t win a national election, partly it’s because they fear the diminution of their own power if someone like Paul becomes president, and partly it’s because I think they’d feel more comfortable with center-leftists like the Clintons, who won’t do anything “unpredictable,” than they would with GOP wild cards like Paul or Cruz. If you want to stop Jeb, you need to give them a better centrist alternative. Thanks to Bridgegate, there probably isn’t one — although maybe Walker, betting that tea partiers won’t turn on him after winning the war over labor in Wisconsin, will position himself ostentatiously as a centrist for the presidential race. And if you want them to support a right-wing nominee in the general, in the unlikely event that we end up with a right-wing nominee, you need the left to nominate an “unpredictable” liberal so that they can embrace the GOP nominee as the lesser of two evils. Elizabeth Warren would fit the bill. But that’s probably not happening either.


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Let me paint you a picture

This is why I keep coming back.

Valiant on April 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Where is an article of flipped rat Al Sharpton? Was there one here and I missed it? Al got caught in crimes and became a rat snitch to avoid prison time.

VorDaj on April 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

As I’ve argued in several Bloomberg columns, the party since 1984 has given its presidential nomination only to people who are at its ideological center of gravity or to its left, and never to anyone to its right. There are reasons for that pattern…

There’s only one reason – most Republican politicians are liberal.

rickv404 on April 8, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Jeb…no thanks…I’ll pass…

PatriotRider on April 8, 2014 at 3:28 PM

You had me up until, “It works.”

Ted Cruz will destroy Bush in a one-on-one.

aunursa on April 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM

No more Bushes – a nice little shrubbery perhaps – but no more Bushes….

dentarthurdent on April 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM

He’s not going to be the nominee.

terryannonline on April 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Not a dimes difference between an establishment Repug and a Dem…

PatriotRider on April 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Paul Ryan likewise decides he’ll pass, figuring his best bet at influence is as the next Ways and Means chairman.

He had better decide to pass. Anyone, who refers to illegal immigrants as ‘undocumented Americans,’ doesn’t belong in the White House. I sure as hell wasn’t any kind of American until I legally became one.

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 3:31 PM

For worse (not better), Jeb Bush is NextInLine™, using the same principle as his brother.

When push comes to shove, I think the GOP establishment in the tea-party era regards its first and most important duty to be stopping conservative candidates in the primary. Partly that’s because they think ideologues can’t win a national election, partly it’s because they fear the diminution of their own power if someone like Paul becomes president, and partly it’s because I think they’d feel more comfortable with center-leftists like the Clintons, who won’t do anything “unpredictable,” than they would with GOP wild cards like Paul or Cruz.

Point of order – they’re more comfortable with outright statists like Reid and Obama.

Steve Eggleston on April 8, 2014 at 3:31 PM

As I’ve argued in several Bloomberg columns, the party since 1984 has given its presidential nomination only to people who are at its ideological center of gravity or to its left, and never to anyone to its right. There are reasons for that pattern…

In actuality, Reagan was an anomaly. The Establishment even urged Gerald Ford to run in 1980 to prevent the ‘unelectable and extreme’ Reagan from winning the nomination.

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Jeb “El Coyote” Bush won’t be the nominee.

Oil Can on April 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM

A couple of things sank Romney in 2012 not the least were the attacks by rightwing favorite Newt Gingrich who provided all the ammunition for the Obama campaign to get Reagan Democrats to stay home.

Then of course the faux Libertarians stayed home because Romney “was just another socialist” revealing a preference for electing socialists over Republicans.

It is time to stop catering to the faux Libertarians and letting them define who is a real Republican.. They aren’t Republicans and they are not on the right. They are little more than market oriented radical syndicalist — sort of Wobblies for the upper middle class and the rich.

Jeb Bush is a bogyman and a diversion. He will have little support in the primaries.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Maybe Hotsir will cover the story on Rat Snitch Al if/when he gets wacked.

VorDaj on April 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Where is an article of flipped rat Al Sharpton? Was there one here and I missed it? Al got caught in crimes and became a rat snitch to avoid prison time.

VorDaj on April 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Yep, that’s the way many snitches are legally blackmailed to become informants.

slickwillie2001 on April 8, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Maybe Hotair will cover the story on Rat Snitch Al if/when he gets wacked.

VorDaj on April 8, 2014 at 3:35 PM

He’s not going to be the nominee.

terryannonline on April 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Ha Ha Ha, you’re funny. He’s everything you love about Rubio and more.

RickB on April 8, 2014 at 3:35 PM

This is who the GOPe is. Its members would rather lose to the likes of Clinton with blood on her hands, than actually stand for what’s in the party platform. I wouldn’t label Clinton as center left—I don’t consider any Dem politicians to be center left. That creature is long gone. Some are just better liars than others.

But before the nomination gets handed to Jeb, you need to factor in the ire against Common Core and his remarks on illegal aliens. That wrath is not going to go away. In fact that wrath against CC spans the political spectrum and puts paid to any hope Jeb might have of gaining votes from those who are not Republicans.

But then again, the GOPe doesn’t care if it loses to the Dems who would finish the destruction Obama began. It’s main concern is destroying the base of its own party.

INC on April 8, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Jeb sweeps to the nomination, only to lose badly in the general when voters are forced to decide whether they want to return to “the Clinton era” or “the Bush era.”

He would also lose badly because he’s poison to the base, as well.
- and it’s pretty sad the GOP establishment would rather see Hillary get elected than someone like Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Utterly pathetic.

DRayRaven on April 8, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Oh great! Now that he has said that I am getting worried that it might happen. Maybe he will relieve my fears by stating that rand Paul will not get the nomination either. Please Krystol say rand Paul candidacy is doom and help a girl out.

coolrepublica on April 8, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I think the GOP establishment in the tea-party era regards its first and most important duty to be stopping conservative candidates in the primary. Partly that’s because…

It’s entirely because a conservative President might step on the gravy train of cronyism.

Clark1 on April 8, 2014 at 3:36 PM

“We demand… a shrubbery!”

Akzed on April 8, 2014 at 3:37 PM

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Of course, Romney’s 47% comment and the fact that 81% of voters said that Obama more closely ‘felt their pain’ (for lack of a better phrase) had nothing to do with it. That doesn’t say much about the 81%, who had to be insane to think Obama cares about them, but it doesn’t say very much about the way Romney ran as a candidate either.

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 3:37 PM

The Genovese family will hunt down Sharpton and give him the Hoffa treatment. Thank God for small miracles, eh?

RasThavas on April 8, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Let me paint you a picture. Bush announces he’s running. Soon after, Rubio announces that he isn’t, having concluded that too many of his potential advisors and fundraisers will gravitate towards Jeb. Paul Ryan likewise decides he’ll pass, figuring his best bet at influence is as the next Ways and Means chairman. Bush hits the trail, talking up education reform and ticking off a few well-chosen points of disagreement with his brother’s foreign policy. Meanwhile, Christie, his main rival for establishment support, is too damaged by Bridgegate and never gathers much momentum. Neither does Jindal, who’s overshadowed by bigger-name candidates both to his left (Bush) and his right (Rand Paul and Ted Cruz) and can’t quite find a niche. Bush, now largely unchallenged in the center and center-right, consolidates their support. Over on the right, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz bash each other’s brains in on foreign policy and the NSA until one of them emerges as the conservative choice. That’s when Bush’s backers launch a ferocious campaign attacking Cruz/Paul as fringe material — government shutdowns! a disarmed military! — who’ll never stand a chance against Hillary. It works and Jeb sweeps to the nomination, only to lose badly in the general when voters are forced to decide whether they want to return to “the Clinton era” or “the Bush era.”

You just answered your own question, AP. The only way Jeb Bush is the nominee in 2016 is if the field sucks so bad(ala 2008) that he wins it practically by default. That’s how McCain wound up with the nomination. No conservative in the country wanted him or was excited to vote for him(although putting Palin on the ticket did help), but there were no other realistic options. Huckabee’s appeal was solely with evangelicals, Romney could never gain traction as the “conservative” alternative, Fred Thompson wasn’t serious about running, and Rudy’s campaign was a joke.

I seriously doubt Jeb will be as fortunate as McCain though. Someone is going to run seeking the nomination as the conservative standard bearer. Sure, it’s possible that Paul and Cruz both enter the race and beat each other up, but I have to believe that at some point enough conservatives and Tea Partiers will consolidate behind one candidate. There’s no way in hell they’re gonna bicker amongst themselves so much that it allows Jeb Bush of all people to win the primaries. That would be electoral suicide.

Doughboy on April 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Scott Walker

El_Terrible on April 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Over on the right, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz bash each other’s brains in …

Rand Paul is not “on the right” – he’s on the left with Jeb and the rest of the AMNESTY/OPEN BORDER pushers.

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have very little in common.

Pork-Chop on April 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

“We demand… a shrubbery!”

Akzed on April 8, 2014 at 3:37 PM

And if you come back with a mere Bush – I shall be forced to say – Nnnnnee!

dentarthurdent on April 8, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Incredibly – I think Bill Kristol is correct in his thinking.

jake-the-goose on April 8, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Romney was the insidious canker that destroyed the GOP in 2012, and in 2008.

Yes, in 2008 also. Because in 2008 Romney was falsely crowned the “conservative choice,” and Romney, with the help of his self-financed attack ads, took the oxygen out of the Republican field. Even Huckabee would have been better than Romney. People understood in 2008 that Romney was toxic. And it did come down to “anybody but Romney.” Unfortunately, after Romney had strangled the field, all that was left was McCain. In 2012 the field seemed pitiful, but a lot of that may have been caused by Romney’s backroom deals to keep better candidates out. It was in 2012 also “anybody but Romney.” Anybody… virtually. Yeah, but Romney seemed to be the only one standing after a slew of book tour candidates were victims of Romney attacks. Nearly all of us disliked or despised Romney, but the attack dog managed to get the nomination anyway. Sad that Romney was a pussycat when it came to attacking Obama. That was off limits. Because he was a “decent” candidate, kind of like McCain.

anotherJoe on April 8, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Conservatives need to do everything they can to prevent a Cruz-Paul bloodbath in the primaries. Otherwise, you WILL end up with Bush (or someone of his ilk) as the nominee.

Robert_Paulson on April 8, 2014 at 3:43 PM

“Stay out the Bushes. Stay out the Bushes. Stay out the Bushes.”

Pork-Chop on April 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

This is why I keep coming back.

Valiant on April 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Same. Good post AP

Dash on April 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Rand Paul is not “on the right” – he’s on the left with Jeb and the rest of the AMNESTY/OPEN BORDER pushers.

This statement shows how far the Hot Air reader has fallen.

Heah idiot, you didn’t know that the Paulist are for open borders. Where have you been for the last decade? Libertarianism has always supported the free movement of people and capital. It is about the only piece of real Libertarianism in the Paulist agenda.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

the perennial inability of the party’s right to agree on a candidate

Haha, that is so applicable here.

Dash on April 8, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Ben Smith said the same thing yesterday, writing that “the notion that Jeb Bush is going to be the Republican presidential nominee is a fantasy nourished by the people who used to run the Republican Party.” Used to? We went into battle against ObamaCare in 2012 with the guy who signed a law that paved the way for ObamaCare

Close it up AP. This paragraph was all you needed to say. :)

melle1228 on April 8, 2014 at 3:46 PM

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

I certainly hope that you are not calling me an idiot.

Pork-Chop on April 8, 2014 at 3:48 PM

It just hasn’t sunk in with the Chamber Of Commerce crowd yet, average working citizens see that Jeb Bush is simply another “Obama lite” (like Romney) who is not going to make much difference to the leftist momentum in the US. They will simply stay home yet again.

Many average Libertarian and conservative Republican folks will choose to stay home and let the “Compassionate” Republicans (along with their fellow travelers the Democrats) stew in their own mire for yet another four years. With the hope that maybe – possibly – it will finally be enough of a lesson to convince the slow learners in both parties that more Leftist progressivism is not any sort of answer for recovery in the U.S.

You certainly must remember the “Let It Burn” statements being made over and over here during the last presidential election season. They weren’t kidding or being hyperbolic. They were simply stating their position for that election. Too bad the “mainstream” Republican party still refuses to take that that at all seriously.

Lastly, does anyone think it’s an accident that after the Bush governorship, Florida is now a blue state?

PoliTech on April 8, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Folks, this is Billy Crystal saying this….NOT someone
like Mark Levin….

ToddPA on April 8, 2014 at 3:50 PM

[Ryan] had better decide to pass. Anyone, who refers to illegal immigrants as ‘undocumented Americans,’ doesn’t belong in the White House. I sure as hell wasn’t any kind of American until I legally became one.
Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 3:31 PM

It’s worse than that. Paul Ryan referred to illegal aliens as “exploited Americans.”

http://twitchy.com/2013/07/11/washington-post-paul-ryan-called-illegal-aliens-exploited-americans/

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Mike Pence.

Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I certainly hope that you are not calling me an idiot.

I am indeed, because anybody who does not know that traditional Libertarians are pro-open borders certainly fits the definition.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Jeb bush is shoved down the throats of the base and is the nominee. The base says screw it and stays home.

Demoncrats win everything.

Proceed to create the true socialist state they want.

Civil war.

Yes, a flat out shooting civil war. This country is primed for it. All that’s missing is the catalyst. Personally, I would prefer it remains missing, along with Bush’s chances at winning the nomination.

evilned on April 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

We’re all laughing but the last two nominees were Romney and Maverick. Oo

Dash on April 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Oh, and Paul Ryan is Jack Kemp 2.0. He’s going nowhere in any national election.

Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Someone is going to run seeking the nomination as the conservative standard bearer. Sure, it’s possible that Paul and Cruz both enter the race and beat each other up, but I have to believe that at some point enough conservatives and Tea Partiers will consolidate behind one candidate. There’s no way in hell they’re gonna bicker amongst themselves so much that it allows Jeb Bush of all people to win the primaries. That would be electoral suicide.

Doughboy on April 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Keep hope alive Doughboy, but I thought the same thing in 2012. Who was the conservative standard bearer that year? Nobody was good enough and Santorum and Gingrich ate each other. How about 2008? Who was the conservative standard bearer that year? Huckabee? Or was it Fred Thompson? 2016 sure looks like more self-mutilation to me. Reagan ran in 3 primaries before winning. We look for a new conservative standard bearer every 4 years and end up hating them all.

rhombus on April 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Mike Pence.

Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Good man – but I think his wife does not want him to run.

jake-the-goose on April 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM

I am indeed, because anybody who does not know that traditional Libertarians are pro-open borders certainly fits the definition.
jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Pork-Chop is one of the best commenters on this site. Your insult is way off.

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 3:57 PM

This statement shows how far the Hot Air reader has fallen.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Your posts aren’t exactly raising the bar, jerry

Dash on April 8, 2014 at 3:58 PM

I am indeed, because anybody who does not know that traditional Libertarians are pro-open borders certainly fits the definition.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension skills then, because you called me an idiot, and then turned around and agreed with me.

ALLAHPUNDIT claims that Rand Paul is “on the right”, and I pointed out the fact that he is not – and you agreed with me. Yes, I know that Libertarians are very liberal on AMNESTY and OPEN BORDERS – Rand Paul agrees with Jeb Bush, McCain, Rubio, as well as obama and all liberals on this issue – in other words, he is on the left.

I’m not sure what your problem is.

Pork-Chop on April 8, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Top conservative: 2016 not Ted Cruz’s turn, favors Mike Pence-Rand Paul ticket

Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Pence, Walker or Jindal are my top 3 picks.

Deafdog on April 8, 2014 at 3:59 PM

for open borders. Where have you been for the last decade? Libertarianism has always supported the free movement of people and capital. It is about the only piece of real Libertarianism in the Paulist agenda.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

1. I am a libertarian.

2. I couldn’t wait until Ron Paul retired because he gave libertarianism a bad name with his tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories.

3. I vehemently oppose the idea of ‘open borders’ not only because I am a naturalised American, who came here the correct and legal way, but because without borders, a nation ceases to exist.

4. As to the free movement of capital, as long as it is not illegal or corrupt (like Russian oligarchs moving into Cypress or Ukraine), what’s not to like?

5. There are many strains of libertarianism. Anyone, who thinks otherwise, is unfamiliar with the ideology, movement, and reality. There are libertarian socialists, who believe in socialism as the economic system, but focus the ‘collective’ on individuals rather than a government. There are neo-confederate libertarians – these are the guys who, essentially, argue that the South was right about states’ rights and slavery. There are social libertarians, who subscribe to Austrian economic theory, but are basically anarchists when it comes to other issues. There are the isolationist libertarians, who can be either on the left or right of the economic and/or social divide, but oppose foreign entanglements at all costs. There are the tinfoil-hatter libertarians like Alex Jones, who believe that every bad thing that has ever happened was caused by or the fault of the United States and that there has never been a terrorist attack or mass shooting – they were false-flags and, in some cases, the people never died and are living elsewhere (think TWA 800 or Newtown). Then, there are libertarians like me.

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul would beg to differ. Additionally, open boarders does not equate to rampant illegal immigration. Even among capital “L” Libertarians, most still want foreign guests to “sign the guest-book”.

Lastly, what exactly do you think the Chamber Of Commerce republicans are pushing for regarding immigration?

I’ll answer for you … Amnesty.

PoliTech on April 8, 2014 at 4:02 PM

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Puke!

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Mike Pence.
Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

He was for amnesty in 2006:
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/217912/another-no-amnesty-amnesty/mark-krikorian

What has he said on the issue since then?

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Have you branded your strain of libertarianism yet? Do you have a Wikipedia page yet?

rhombus on April 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

All the Jeb Bush talk makes absolutely no sense to me. Have people forgotten how unpopular his brother was when he left office less than 8 years ago? That should disqualify him right off the bat…the campaign for the Dem writes itself.

Maybe it takes 3 poor showings before the right candidate comes along, I don’t know, but none of these names really appeals to me, and they all have major flaws.

changer1701 on April 8, 2014 at 4:06 PM

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM
Pork-Chop is one of the best commenters on this site. Your insult is way off.

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 3:57 PM

If he represents the best than why didn’t he know that Libertarians support open borders?

Enough said.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Not to bicker, but regarding point two, how many of Ron’s “Tinfoil hat” theories turned out exactly as Ron predicted?

PoliTech on April 8, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Jeb isn’t likely to win the nomination, and neither is/was Christie.

It is NOT “party insiders” making most of the noise for these two, it’s been the press. There is no need for “anonymous sources” to “leak” favorable things about a candidate, you’re not afraid to have your name used if you’re being nice. So I strongly suspect all the “sources” are just made up to support the reporters’ preferences.

Jeb has no natural constituency in the Party rank and file. Oh, sure, he could tap into the fundraising networks of his father and brother, but neither of them ever had a hard core of grassroots support that might transfer. And ground game volunteers are very important in the primaries, you need them as much as you need money in the bank.

The Rand Paul talk is all nonsense, too. He would be a little more successful than his father, but not by all that much. And one of his old interviews from 2003-4 surfaced the other day – more will, it’s all on record – where he sounded more isolationist than his kooky papa.

Cruz and Rubio need seasoning and management experience, like a term or two as Governor, before they are viable national candidates.

In the meantime, we have a strong bench of experienced and accomplished Governors. Walker, Perry, Jindal, Pence, Kasich, and Daniels, for starters.

The other speculation – Christie, Jeb, Rand – is just silly talk.

Adjoran on April 8, 2014 at 4:08 PM

He was for amnesty in 2006:
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/217912/another-no-amnesty-amnesty/mark-krikorian

What has he said on the issue since then?

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Not much, but I think his former position was one based on trying to mange the best outcome from a bad situation which is what any candidate is looking at. You aren’t going to win any nomination with a very hard line approach to amnesty with the leadership of both parties working very hard to pass amnesty.

Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Oh great! Now that he has said that I am getting worried that it might happen. Maybe he will relieve my fears by stating that rand Paul will not get the nomination either. Please Krystol say rand Paul candidacy is doom and help a girl out.

coolrepublica on April 8, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Learn English, dummy.

Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Have you branded your strain of libertarianism yet? Do you have a Wikipedia page yet?

rhombus on April 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Lolz. No. I guess if I were forced to label my strain of libertarianism it would be Libertarian Realism or Rational Libertarianism or something along those lines. :-)

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM

“Walker would likely be great
Perry had his chance & blew it
Jindal ‘natural born’ insanity an issue? how is he on borders?
Pence amnesty squish. fugedabudit.
Kasich see above.
Daniels see perry above and double it [!]”

so, sorry — our bench is not exactly ‘strong’

ABreitbart on April 8, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Sorry,

I won’t vote for a dynast.

I won’t vote for a guy who thinks that illegal immigration is an act of love.

But most of all, I won’t vote for a guy who gets surrender weasel support based on a series of assumptions so long you’d think somebody in DC was figuring out how the Redskins can get to the Super Bowl with a 7-8 record.

We tried electable the last two Presidential elections. It’s time to run an “ideologue.”

I’d support Cruz/West at this point. Not another Bush.

Happy Nomad on April 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Not to bicker, but regarding point two, how many of Ron’s “Tinfoil hat” theories turned out exactly as Ron predicted?

PoliTech on April 8, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Well, the ‘pink money’ one didn’t. lol :-)

And, I certainly wouldn’t compare the Gaza Strip to Nazi concentration camps, for example.

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Not much, but I think his former position was one based on trying to mange the best outcome from a bad situation which is what any candidate is looking at. You aren’t going to win any nomination with a very hard line approach to amnesty with the leadership of both parties working very hard to pass amnesty.
Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 4:12 PM

BS.

I will never vote for a pro-amnesty candidate. Enforcing existing immigration laws and standards is a mainstream and winning position.

Sounds like you couldn’t care about mass illegal alien amnesty and are just making excuses for Pence.

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

so, sorry — our bench is not exactly ‘strong’

ABreitbart on April 8, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I’d rather have our bench than the Dems. If Killary decides not to run, who else they got?

Happy Nomad on April 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM

You aren’t going to win any nomination with a very hard line approach to amnesty with the leadership of both parties working very hard to pass amnesty.
Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Also, tell that to Mitt Romney.

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM

@ HN

off the top of my head:
deval partick, cory booker, slo jo, liz warren, john heinz kerry, andrew cuomo

/yeah, we physically recoil at the thought, but far too many millions within the free stuff army get pavlovianly excited by that same list
[!!]

ABreitbart on April 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Keep hope alive Doughboy, but I thought the same thing in 2012. Who was the conservative standard bearer that year? Nobody was good enough and Santorum and Gingrich ate each other. How about 2008? Who was the conservative standard bearer that year? Huckabee? Or was it Fred Thompson? 2016 sure looks like more self-mutilation to me. Reagan ran in 3 primaries before winning. We look for a new conservative standard bearer every 4 years and end up hating them all.

rhombus on April 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM

2012 was better than 2008, but it was still a pathetic field. C’mon. Santorum and Newt battling to be the conservative alternative to Romney? Perry could’ve won the nomination in a walk, but he wasn’t remotely prepared for the grind of the primaries. And the rest of the choices were a joke.

That’s really what it comes down to. We need quality choices. It would be great if Scott Walker and Rand Paul(or Ted Cruz) decide to run. Then we at least have an alternative to the lousy candidate the establishment inevitably tries to shove down our throats.

Doughboy on April 8, 2014 at 4:25 PM

And BTW-

Let’s be precise with terms here.

Bush/Rubio/ et.al. are not for amnesty. Nor are they for immigration reform. They are for ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM. Nothing that Bush talked about in his act of love speech dealt with immigration policy. It was all about helping out illegals.

That’s not something to be admired in a guy contemplating running for President.

Happy Nomad on April 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM

“Happy Nomad on April 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM”

Preach it!!

ABreitbart on April 8, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have very little in common.

Pork-Chop on April 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Thank you for pointing that out. It needs to be emphasized: libertarians are not conservatives.

The only reason libertarians such as Rand Paul wear the Republican label is because libertarian ideas don’t sell in the political marketplace. Calling themselves Republican gives these libertarian politicians the veneer of mainstream respectability they could never attain while calling themselves big ‘L’ Libertarians.

And then, of course, there’s Ron Paul, insane in the brain, with a big dollop of antisemitism and conspiracy theory kookery thrown in for good measure. Nothing that addle-brained nincompoop says bears any resemblance to reality, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. For example, Ron Paul has espoused the idea that Iran (!) is a persecuted victim of American imperialism and Israeli machinizations. Why that reedy-voiced demogogue was ever considered a serious presidential candidate by anyone is a mystery, at least to me.

troyriser_gopftw on April 8, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Rick Perry could ultimately displace Cruz and Paul because he has a proven executive track record and has good conservative credentials. He also does not have to explain a congressional voting record.

A Bush Perry race to the finish line would be an interesting pairing of two contrasting styles.

KW64 on April 8, 2014 at 4:28 PM

3. I vehemently oppose the idea of ‘open borders’ not only because I am a naturalised American, who came here the correct and legal way, but because without borders, a nation ceases to exist.

Learn to write American then! ;)

DarkCurrent on April 8, 2014 at 4:29 PM

“DarkCurrent on April 8, 2014 at 4:29 PM”

really — u went there?
:-)

ABreitbart on April 8, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Well the 50 dollar bill is actually pink now :-D but those newsletters are just one reason why Representative cranky is not a good candidate for President. Ron Paul does have a vocal and motivated following though, and it would behoove the Republicans to try to garner their vote. Jeb ain’t gonna cut it.

PoliTech on April 8, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Brilliant analysis.

libfreeordie on April 8, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Then, there are libertarians like me.

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Then there are so many who don’t get the differences btw. Libertarian and libertarian.

Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 4:35 PM

He’s not going to be the nominee.

terryannonline on April 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Neither will Rubio. From you to God.

———–
Not for terrya.

Then there are those who livelikeslaves but b/s otherwise.

Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 4:37 PM

They should run Jeb Bush. Just to see him crash and burn.

MrX on April 8, 2014 at 4:40 PM

troyriser_gopftw on April 8, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Ron is kookie, yea I know … Operation Ajax? Bing it.

PoliTech on April 8, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Jeb Bush is an unelectable moderate because his name is Jeb Bush.

Illinidiva on April 8, 2014 at 4:48 PM

In the meantime, we have a strong bench of experienced and accomplished Governors. Walker, Perry, Jindal, Pence, Kasich, and Daniels, for starters.

Walker… Yep. Perry isn’t going to ever recover from his mind lapse in 2012. Daniels said no to 2012 already despite everyone begging him because of personal issues. And Jindal doesn’t have a personality. Portman might be an establishment type candidate who isn’t named Jeb Bush and slightly more interesting because of the pro gay marriage angle.

Illinidiva on April 8, 2014 at 4:53 PM

BS.

I will never vote for a pro-amnesty candidate. Enforcing existing immigration laws and standards is a mainstream and winning position.

Sounds like you couldn’t care about mass illegal alien amnesty and are just making excuses for Pence.

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Whatever. I’m dealing with what will be, not what I want. Amnesty will eventually be shoved down our throats, right now it’s a matter of how much you can mitigate the damage. I will take someone who is for some type as long as he can convince me there will be none until the borders are actually secure in a real and verifiable way.

Also, tell that to Mitt Romney.

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Romney would have caved in a heartbeat on amnesty. People took that about as seriously as they did Obama opposed gay marriage.

Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Jeb running could actually help the other GOP candidates. He would be tarred with “Bush’s third term” and it would give the others a clean start.

With regard to how to handle GWB though, I do think Perry has a huge advantage in that he also inherited a Bush economy. That will be important when the Dems inevitably blame the economy on Bush.

monalisa on April 8, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Learn to write American then! ;)

DarkCurrent on April 8, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Snicker.

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 4:55 PM

so we’re to believe that Jeb will survive the nomination process and lose in the general. Haven’t we already run a couple of moderates and lost?

katiejane on April 8, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Your analysis is nice but way too dismissive of Paul and Cruz. These are far smarter and more agile men than Jeb; they’re no Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. Jeb’s layers of insider blubber, good enough to get a candidate through a tough primary winter in years past, will be nothing but a liability this time around.

rrpjr on April 8, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Well the 50 dollar bill is actually pink now :-D

Must be really new or the $50 that I saw the other day was old. I still don’t get his hysteria about money – maybe – becoming pink…unless it is some kind of latent homophobia or something.

but those newsletters are just one reason why Representative cranky is not a good candidate for President.

You aren’t kidding. I covered them when they broke and wrote numerous posts on the contents.

Ron Paul does have a vocal and motivated following though,

Tell me about it. The Paulistinians absolutely despised me during the primary. I was one of the libertarian bloggers that The Daily Paul would link to in condemnation. Whoa, whoa, whoa, baby! lol

and it would behoove the Republicans to try to garner their vote.

Absolutely.

Jeb ain’t gonna cut it.

PoliTech on April 8, 2014 at 4:31 PM

+1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Opposition research being done right now on Scott Walker is probably mostly being done by the Bushes. And it’ll be shared with the WaPo as soon as they have something they think they can get to stick.

As we saw with Chris Christie, where they were able to make a traffic jam (!!!!) in Fort Lee and on the GWB, something that happens every hour of every day, end his presidential hopes, it won’t take much to get something to stick.

The propaganda organs like the Times and WaPo are desperate to get Hillary into office, but, if she fails, they’ll happily take the next best Democrat. Jeb Bush.

AP may be right in his analyiss, which is totally depressing.

MTF on April 8, 2014 at 5:04 PM

By the way, Boehner was in Boston last Friday meeting with Romney’s peole so Jeb isn’t the only hope for the Rinocracy. They still harbor dreams of bringing back the Mitt.

MTF on April 8, 2014 at 5:08 PM

The problem with you people is that there is no perfect candidate. If someone deviates one iota from the party line he called a statist or leftist.

Sarah Palin is evil SOCON
Rand Paul is a leftist because he support open borders.
Paul Ryan is a big spender.
Mitt Romney supported mandatory health Insurance.
I am sure that you will find Ted Cruz to be defective in some way.

As far is this Statist BS you babble, I’ve got news for you. The Constitution is a statist document. A Republic is a statist form of government that balances the rights of the individual with the needs of the community.

You people are no different than the Kos crowd who branded Joe Lieberman a NEOCON despite the fact that his voting record was to the left Hillary Clinton. You are just two peas at the opposite ends of the same pod as the kosites.

jerryofva on April 8, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Romney would have caved in a heartbeat on amnesty. People took that about as seriously as they did Obama opposed gay marriage.
Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 4:55 PM

You don’t speak for all “people.”

You aren’t going to win any nomination with a very hard line approach to amnesty with the leadership of both parties working very hard to pass amnesty.
Rocks on April 8, 2014 at 4:12 PM

You said no one can win the nomination while opposing amnesty. Obviously, you are completely wrong.

You might choose to make excuses for pro-amnesty candidates, since you couldn’t care less about mass illegal alien amnesty, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us will.

bluegill on April 8, 2014 at 5:13 PM

I am sure that you will find Ted Cruz to be defective in some way.

It does bother me that he got a $1.5 million dollar book deal.

monalisa on April 8, 2014 at 5:16 PM

That’s when Bush’s backers launch a ferocious campaign attacking Cruz/Paul as fringe material

Just like Romney did in 2012. When the gop power brokers decide on a candidate–they’ll stop at nothing to destroy the conservative competition.
I will say that I’m not so sure that Christie won’t be the establishment pick. I don’t think Bridgegate has taken him out of the running. Talk of Jeb’s candidacy is premature.

shubalstearns on April 8, 2014 at 5:19 PM

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