Are you ready for Bush/Paul 2016?

posted at 11:41 am on April 24, 2014 by Allahpundit

A corollary to yesterday’s post spitballing about what Paul might do if Jeb (or someone else) squashes him in the early primaries. Whatever you think of Rand’s chances at the nomination, says Ramesh Ponnuru, he’s a strong contender for VP. Do the math:

Let’s say the Kentucky legislator makes a strong run — winning some states and coming close in others — but doesn’t win the nomination, a scenario that seems more likely than not. He has something going for him in the veepstakes that other Republican also-rans would not: a constituency that might well defect in large numbers from the party in November.

Assuming Paul loses, the Libertarian Party will have an easier task than usual: It will be able to concentrate its organizing among the people who voted for Paul in the primaries. That could easily amount to enough voters to deny Republicans a victory in the general election. (In other words, the libertarian candidate in this situation would be Ralph Nader in reverse.)

The winning Republican nominee would need Paul to campaign actively for him to prevent this scenario. But why wouldn’t Paul just go home to Kentucky to campaign for his own re-election? His Senate seat will be up in 2016.

Actually, unless Kentucky law changes or Paul wins a court battle declaring it unconstitutional, he’d be barred by statute from running for the Senate once he commits to running for president. That gives him even less incentive to make nice with the GOP nominee and campaign hard on his behalf, which makes the VP scenario even more likely. The eventual nominee, assuming it isn’t Rand himself, has to offer him the veep slot to keep libertarians and pro-Rand tea partiers in the fold. Doesn’t he?

Probably, yeah — although it may be that we end up with a nominee who’s so hostile to Paul and his philosophy that he’d refuse to add him to the ticket on principle, whatever that might mean for November. Christie might fit that bill, Ted Cruz obviously wouldn’t. Bush is an interesting case: He’d rather stay far away from Paulism, I’d guess, but Paul’s “different kind of Republican” brand would be attractive to a guy who’ll be hammered as a dynasty case and retread. If you want to signal to voters that you’re breaking from the GOP’s recent (Bush-heavy) past, Rand Paul’s the man you want to run with. It’d certainly help Bush get a grudging second look from grassroots righties. I think Rand would accept the offer too, despite the howls from hardcore ideologues in his base that he’d sold out and was being exploited by the enemy. Between endorsing Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Senate primary and taking a more hawkish stand on Russia lately, he’s showed that he’s willing to compromise with the establishment in the name of improving his odds nationally. Serving as VP would give him the ultimate establishment cred and put him in line for the nomination down the road. He’s young by presidential standards. He can wait.

Here’s the X factor: Will establishment hawks and the GOP’s donor class tolerate having Paul on the ticket? If he wins an early primary or two, they’re going to kitchen-sink him with harsh attacks — he hates Israel, he fraternizes with racists, he’d destroy respect for American power in the world even more thoroughly than Obama has, and certainly he wouldn’t stand a chance against Hillary in the general. It’s … not easy to switch in a matter of months from that position to “hey, let’s put him one heartbeat away.” In particular, it’d be odd to go from claiming that Paul is electoral poison as nominee to claiming that it’d be electoral poison not to nominate him for VP for the reason Ponnuru gives (although that argument can, and probably will, be made). Just for example, could someone like McCain endorse a Bush/Paul or Rubio/Paul ticket? Could Christie? Could Sheldon Adelson, on whom the GOP is counting to donate tens of millions of dollars in the general election? Most Republicans would be good soldiers but you only need a small yet influential group of Paul critics to threaten to walk in order to get the nominee to think twice about Rand.

Exit question: Is there some middle-ground solution here, like a cabinet appointment for Paul, that would avoid the VP dilemma? Er, which cabinet position would he be an obvious candidate for?


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First post, and may I just say…

NO.

Kodos the Executioner on April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Yes you may.

Won’t work for me either.

lynncgb on April 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM

I am kind of convinced Rand is going to run away with early primaries. At the very least Iowa. And I could see him winning NH.

eski502 on April 24, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Only slightly O/T:

Colorado 2016 poll: Rand Paul beats Hillary Clinton

Colorado voters would favor the Kentucky Republican over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 48 percent to 43 percent in a potential 2016 presidential race, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

JohnGalt23 on April 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

If you think the Republicans care about appeasing their base then you’ve not been paying attention.

Midas on April 24, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Bingo!

Which is why they should just end it all…and go with
Charles Manson..

ToddPA on April 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Come on folks….

WEINER-HOLDER

Weiner_Holder on April 24, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Both are 100% unacceptable…pathetic…

georgealbert on April 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Hmm, meabee thar ain’t no difference between them thar GOPe folks and them thar DimocRat types?

/DEADSERIOUS

Meople on April 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Not much at all. Sorta like choosing between regular and lite beer. Its still beer.

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

I would vote against Bush/anybody. I would vote against Bush/George Washington. I would vote against Christie/Paul or any open-borders K-Street traitor/Paul. And since Paul supports amnesty and open borders, too, then I would vote against Paul/Bush or what have you. However, I would vote for Sessions/Paul or Steve King/Paul, as long as the POTUS is a genuine opponent of amnesty and open-borders and represents the American people rather than K-Street cronies.

FloatingRock on April 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Rand will soon have a new book out. “How To Ruin A Political Career In Five Easy Steps.”

Bmore on April 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Hailey from North Carolina.

Mord on April 24, 2014 at 12:40 PM

You talking about Nikki Haley, of South Carolina?

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Not much at all. Sorta like choosing between regular and lite beer. Its still beer.

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

LOL, and both skunky.

Meople on April 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Are you ready for Bush/Paul 2016?

…I’d rather have a case of flaming sustainable hemorrhoids!

KOOLAID2 on April 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I would find it difficult to waste my time and gas voting for Bush. There is no way he can beat Hilary. He can’t get the voters out.

sixchickensleft on April 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM

First of all I don’t see Paul losing to Jeb in the primaries, though he seems to be trying to play both sides of the Republican party. He’s been in good standing with conservatives and tea party groups, but lately is playing (too) nice with the establishment. Rubio tried this and we saw where that got him. I think Paul’s going to lose (or has lost) too many of the base supporters. I don’t really see this combination of Jeb and Rand as helpful to either one of them.

Insanity on April 24, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Bush/Paul?

The overpasses and blimp factories are covered in the contents of heads popped.

Murphy9 on April 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Abbott/Costello “16 !

teacherman on April 24, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Put Bush first I stay home

forever.

Me and millions others. NOT having it.

bour3 on April 24, 2014 at 1:30 PM

LongWalk/ShortPier ’16 !

teacherman on April 24, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Let me count the ways! No, no, no!

tomshup on April 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM

No.

JApost on April 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Might as well run Christine O’Donnell.

rnb on April 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

I’m not voting for Bush, I don’t care if Jesus Christ is the veep pick.

Having someone HALFway decent as VP does not give a pass to the piece of garbage at the top of the ticket. Sorry…..no, not sorry. Go to hell, Bush.

Diluculo on April 24, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Hello… First post for me.

I simply can’t support another Bush for any reason. Bush 41 is in favor of a NWO and has made that obvious by his YouTube video’s. Bush 43 signed into law the most evil law ever written, the Patriot Act. Jeb would just be more if the same.

Rand Paul is a smart guy and I think he would be the most likely candidate to try to restore our Constitutional Republic,the Constitution, our liberty and our freedom. He is 1 of the 7 Senator’s that voted against the NDAA because he thought it was Unconstituional and gave the government dictatorial power.

No more Bush!

No more Clinton!

wartface on April 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Double Hell No

KBird on April 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Let’s put together a dream team Rand Paul for Pres, Kelly Ayotte for veep.

Would love to have the young, vibrant, fresh ideas on the GOP side vs. a tired, scandal-coated Hillary.

deaconchris on April 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

ARRGGGHHH!!! Not Jeb! Please! The Proglodytes and Demorlocks WANT us to run Jeb! Wimpy wimpy wimpy! Not another Bush! Please! Rand, Cruz, Ryan! Christie–they hate Christie, and they fear him. Is he the most conservative/libertarian guy out there? No! But right about now, I’d just like to win! And win with somebody with chutzpah!

RockinRickOwen on April 24, 2014 at 3:09 PM

No! I’m not ready for Bush/Paul. Are you ready for Hillary/O’Malley? Here’s a winning ticket, Cruz/Love (Mia Love). Even sounds cool.

HueMoss on April 24, 2014 at 3:41 PM

No, will not support either one of them!

T Bo on April 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM

With the choices I’ve seen so far, why not run bammie for a third term? wouldn’t be much difference

datrashman on April 24, 2014 at 3:53 PM

It will be Clinton/Bush 2016 Unity Ticket. That’s what they’ve been working towards since 1988. The final election.

kcewa on April 24, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Nooooooooooo!

fight like a girl on April 24, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Nope, not this time. I will only vote for a conservative for President.

lea on April 24, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Rand will soon have a new book out. “How To Ruin A Political Career In Five Easy Steps.”

Bmore on April 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

:)

INC on April 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Another losing ticket,I hope we can do better then those TWO..GOD HELP US

woody66 on April 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Never! The sellout Republicans always offer the Veep spot to the conservative and then continue to screw the public as if there wasn’t a conservative within miles. As John Nance Garner so correctly put it, “The Vice-Presidency isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.”

Mr. Grump on April 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Hailey from North Carolina.

cicerone on April 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

who?

do you mean the SC gov?

conservative tarheel on April 24, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Am I ready for Bush/Paul 2016?

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, no. They have no shot at a win.

But I am ready for Scott Walker / Allen West or Nikki Haley 2016.

NoPain on April 24, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Are you ready for Bush/Paul 2016?

…H^LL NO – But 20+ MILLION ILLEGALS + ALL d-cRATs are !

MicahStone on April 24, 2014 at 6:59 PM

“Are you ready for Bush/Paul 2016?”
….20+ million illegals are!

MicahStone on April 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Enough of this crap, it would be much more useful if we focus on 2014!
idesign on April 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Yes! Maybe we can re-elect principled conservatives like McConnell !!! /sarc

Brock Robamney on April 24, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Rand can become an elite member of an elite tiny club. Members include Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, et.

Truth Gun on April 24, 2014 at 7:45 PM

I am kind of convinced Rand is going to run away with early primaries. At the very least Iowa. And I could see him winning NH.

eski502 on April 24, 2014 at 12:53 PM

No chance for Cruz? At all? Pence hasn’t announced yet, either. Both are TOP 2, ether one will be great.

And although I would easily place West and Palin way higher than Paul, shame neither will run. Paul is the best RINO Lite we got, but that’s about it.

Although any RINO is still better than Benghazi Killary and I’ll Have You Anyway Bill.

riddick on April 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Yes! Maybe we can re-elect principled conservatives like McConnell !!! /sarc

Brock Robamney on April 24, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Of course we will! Rand himself endorsed him a while back.

riddick on April 24, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I don’t think I am but after Obama I’m not sure how choosey I can be.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 8:39 PM

No to Bush. No to Christie. No to Ryan. Not even for Vice Prez. No. No. No.

joecollins on April 24, 2014 at 9:33 PM

First post: NO!

TDP56 on April 24, 2014 at 9:39 PM

I really am becoming confused on AP’s motivations for writing posts like this one. No one wants Bush. Just look at the poll you yourself posted. Voters over 65 especially, and Republicans, but really all voters. It’s unanimous. So why are we greeted with daily Bush posts?

MTF on April 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Because it is “the next rino up to the plate” after Christie
struck out.

Amjean on April 24, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Once again, the elites are setting us up with another lousy moderate. I refuse to ever play this game again. I will join the other four million Republicans who refused to show up for the last crappy presidential election. If the Republican elites persist on this mindless strategy, I’m through.

mobydutch on April 24, 2014 at 9:46 PM

I had no interest in Jeb, and I’m losing interest in Paul.

So it is No and getting close to a No for Paul.

Nat George on April 24, 2014 at 9:51 PM

NO, NO AND HELL NO. ……..

nobama1267 on April 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Not too long ago here at HotAir, we were greeted on a regular basis with many flowery posts featuring Christie. Now, after some new revelations about Mr. Christie, we are suddenly deluged with regular flowery posts featuring none other than, Mr. Jeb. Makes me wonder what’s going on.

mobydutch on April 24, 2014 at 9:58 PM

This supposes that libertarians would vote for a Bush/Paul ticket. Why? This ticket if it were to win or lose guarantees 8 more years of a statist head of state. isn’t the current two term statist damaging enough? 8 more will not leave anything by the time the libertarian could assume the mantle of leadership. I cannot vote for a statist at any cost.

paulsur on April 24, 2014 at 11:34 PM

No, no, no. No Bush, No Christie and No Romney. No, no, no. I voted Libertarian last time and I will switch my party affiliation to the Libertarians (or maybe I’ll start the Texas Independence Party) if the Republicans nominate yet another “moderate”, i.e. RINO.

Theophile on April 25, 2014 at 5:16 AM

Well, Rand Paul is done now. I can see the future campaign ads coming our way. The 2010 Civil Rights comments, and his support for Bundy have sealed his fate

Brock Robamney on April 25, 2014 at 6:39 AM

Ready for RINO/LOON in 2016? Or how about Stay at home in 2016!

redware on April 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

No, no, no, no, no Jeb Bush!!! He is such as a joke.

sohumm on April 25, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Flip it, take out Bush, put in Walker and we’ll be straight. For the love of all that is Holy, NO MORE BUSHES.

MrBobSugar on April 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM

The only way a Republican can do any good now is if he has a Reagan-like, revolutionary attitude.

There is a bipartisan ruling coalition, with the mass media, academia and the IRS (among others) deciding who is “credible” and what values must inform policy. If you try, as a Republican, to rule by appeasing that coalition, first you won’t (as Chimpy McBusHitler could attest), but second you won’t do any good, as No Child Left Behind and the great McCain-Kennedy amnesty debacle attest.

So: could Bush / Paul get elected? Probably not. Could they do any good if they were elected? Definitely not.

David Blue on April 26, 2014 at 5:58 AM

Bush — no!!!!!!

balkanmom on April 27, 2014 at 8:31 AM

The only way I would possibly support this would be if I had a divine vision that Jeb would win and suffer a heart attack 10 minutes after taking office.

The nation will not vote for another Bush, bank on it, and were he to win, we wouldn’t see one iota of progress reversing Uncle Obooba’s tomfoolery.

LawfulGood on April 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Comment pages: 1 2