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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Perry/Paul :)

gophergirl on April 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Hillary/Bush

rogerb on April 24, 2014 at 11:44 AM

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.

Everything I’ve heard, going back before Paul was even in the Senate, was that such laws are unconstitutional when running for POTUS. Nothing in Article I or II about not running for another office at the same time. Just age, residency and citizenship requirements…

JohnGalt23 on April 24, 2014 at 11:45 AM

It’d certainly help Bush get a grudging second look from grassroots righties.

You got me to look at this article. Let’s see …nope, Bush is still a lefty masquerading as a RINO.

Fenris on April 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Bush / Paul??? No way I would be happy with that ticket. It would be preferable to Hillary / Anyone, but then again, so would my dog Sparky and his running mate, Jack the donkey. If these are our only options, I have absolutely zero hope for the survival of America…None.

bimmcorp on April 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Hillary/Bush

rogerb

Bill isn’t even into Hillary’s bush.

xblade on April 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Are you ready to projectile vomit?

Ted the Average on April 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Three Bushs” is not a good slogan for the USA.

Three Clintons” isn’t either.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Sounds like “push poll”…or maybe that’s what this is supposed to be?

GOPRanknFile on April 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Hell yes I’m ready for it, I’m also ready for amnesty and redefining the 2nd Amendment to make it more sensible.

Ok I lied, I’m ready to write in my favorite dog’s name for POTUS and spend the rest of my day reorganizing the stockpiled MRE’s.

Bishop on April 24, 2014 at 11:48 AM

+1 GG

cmsinaz on April 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM

No. Not even a little bit.

But thanks for asking.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Er, which cabinet position would he be an obvious candidate for?

Treasury…

JohnGalt23 on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Nope. I am not voting for another Bush. Ever. Rand Paul should just run third party if Bush gets the nomination.

Punchenko on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Neither thank you.. I want Cruz. The more Paul talks; the more I shy away from him. And I will NEVER pull the lever for another Bush.

melle1228 on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Bush/Paul 2016?

Well, considering what a total squish Rand Paul has become, the pairing makes total sense – it would lead to a massive landslide loss, but, it makes total sense.

NO ONE would vote for Jeb Bush, and sticking Rand Paul on the ticket would not make a positive difference.

Pork-Chop on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

AP is the only person I know who puts Jeb on the ticket at all. Otherwise there’s no takers outside a few establishment-type pundits. But there just are none in the real world.

whatcat on April 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM

AP – living out his bromances on the public stage of Hot Air.

PolAgnostic on April 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM

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

Bush/Paul???

Horrible idea.

Sessions/Cruz!

Red Widow on April 24, 2014 at 11:52 AM

I thought Sheldon Adelson was more on the libertarian side like the Koch brothers? Is he a hawk?

terryannonline on April 24, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Ready?

How shall I put it? Oh yes,
No More Bushes. Period.

Jeb Bush means I stay home.

Death to the Republican Party
Long live the Tea Party

chuckh on April 24, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Geez, AP, I’m still recovering from the picture of the Hoboken mayor below, and you spring this question on me?

SailorMark on April 24, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Oh sure, that’s all we need–a RINO (Bush) and an isolationist, libertarian/wacko/nut-job (Paul) ticket! Yeah boy, that’ll do the trick! Good grief….

Bob Davis on April 24, 2014 at 11:53 AM

+1 GG

cmsinaz on April 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM

It’s my dream ticket.

gophergirl on April 24, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Any ballot with ANY pro-amnesty, Regressive (R) on it, will not get my vote.

Meople on April 24, 2014 at 11:54 AM

MTF on April 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Jeb hasn’t even been in office for over a decade. Scott Walker 2016.

Neon Indian on April 24, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Sorry, with Jeb at the head of the ticket I will not vote GOP even with Paul as VP. The VP has no power other than voting for the administration when the Senate is deadlocked.

It’s the old “keep your friends close, your enemies closer” strategy.

rbj on April 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM

How ’bout-

DeMint/Walker 2016

M240H on April 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Rand Paul & Mitt Romney

OR

Rand Paul & Jim DeMint

OR

Rand Paul & Bobby Jindal

FastEddie007 on April 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Neither thank you.. I want Cruz. The more Paul talks; the more I shy away from him. And I will NEVER pull the lever for another Bush.

melle1228 on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

This!

davidk on April 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM

No. No Bush, under any circumstances. I’m not crazy about Paul either.

Laura Castellano on April 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Robots rule

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

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

The bush crime family will use all they got to get jeb there, whatever anyone else wants.

the_nile on April 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Too funny.

SailorMark on April 24, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Neither thank you.. I want Cruz. The more Paul talks; the more I shy away from him. And I will NEVER pull the lever for another Bush.

melle1228 on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/22/Rand-Paul-Work-Visas-for-All-Illegal-Immigrants

davidk on April 24, 2014 at 11:59 AM

CRUZ

LiveFreeNH on April 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Bush/Paul???

Congratulations, Madam President-elect.

aunursa on April 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Too many bushes already. Please not another one!

gspero on April 24, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Are you ready for Bush/Paul 2016?

That’s like asking someone if they enjoyed their colonoscopy.

Cruz/West 2016

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 12:01 PM

I think either Bush or Paul on top or bottom of ticket is pretty much a guaranteed loss for the GOP

ConservativePartyNow on April 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Huma/McCain

BL@KBIRD on April 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Paul/Cruz not Bush/Paul. Jeb Bush is too weak.

captainkate on April 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

No to aristocratic political dynasties.

workingclass artist on April 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM

I’d still like to see a successful governor – other than Jeb Bush – heading the ticket.

Drained Brain on April 24, 2014 at 12:03 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

No one, except for the establishment. Therefore he’s the frontrunner.

Fenris on April 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Are you ready for Bush/Paul 2016?
POSTED AT 11:41 AM ON APRIL 24, 2014 BY ALLAHPUNDIT

The Rubio fetish dead now?

nobar on April 24, 2014 at 12:04 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 AP’s playing coy with his crush on the fat man. You throw up these implausible and objectionable tickets as a strawman to make the fat man seem more moderate and reasonable than he really is.

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I really am becoming confused on AP’s motivations for writing posts like this one. No one wants Bush.

MTF on April 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Trolling, pure and simple …

ShainS on April 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I thought Sheldon Adelson was more on the libertarian side like the Koch brothers? Is he a hawk?

terryannonline on April 24, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Shel is not only a hawk, he is a tried and true Zionist…

JohnGalt23 on April 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM

No. No Bush, under any circumstances. I’m not crazy about Paul either.

Laura Castellano on April 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

But it’s nice to have a large field of moderates fighting each other.

the_nile on April 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM

The Rubio fetish dead now?

nobar on April 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Who?

Rubio killed himself by joining the gang of eight pushing amnesty.

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Are you ready for Bush/Paul 2016?

AKA Amnesty/More Amnesty 2016.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Even with Paul on the ticket, I don’t think I could vote for another Bush. If Bush wins the primary, I’m pretty sure I’ll be voting Libertarian.

TBSchemer on April 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Who?

Rubio killed himself by joining the gang of eight pushing amnesty.

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM

AP constantly brought up Jeb in context of how it would effect Marco. Now the roles are reversed and Rubio is no where to be found. I just find that funny.

nobar on April 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

I do not think I could stomach HillClint, but the idea of another Bush just pushes me over the edge. 6 years ago, I would have said that there is no way America would ever vote for Jeb, but I now see that anything is possible with this populace. God help us all.

larryharper on April 24, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I made that prediction a while ago that we would see a RINO/Liberal-tarian GOP ticket. Good luck with that.

Wigglesworth on April 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Let’s trow some gasoline into the thread. How about Palin/Bush? Note for lorien1973: with the slash in between.

Rix on April 24, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Dynamic duo of amnesty?

No, thanks.

BuckeyeSam on April 24, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Win with Walker! Scott Walker 2016

cicerone on April 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

How the hell would Jeb Bush “squash” anyone???

Seriously… the ONLY people who think it’s a good idea to run another Bush are the monied Republican gentry. Do they honestly think they don’t need rank-and-file voters?

Murf76 on April 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Absolutely not. Haven’t we learned our lesson yet? And when I say ‘we’ I mean the Neocon statists

Brock Robamney on April 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM

No/No

db on April 24, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Rand Paul: the other Right meat?!

NewyoricanInTheSouth on April 24, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Rand Paul: the other Right meat?!

NewyoricanInTheSouth on April 24, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I like it…

JohnGalt23 on April 24, 2014 at 12:17 PM

No to Jeb, Christie, or Rubio. Period.

DisneyFan on April 24, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Wasn’t Jeb named after a Confederate general?

faraway on April 24, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Bush in

Franklin100 out

Franklin100 on April 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM

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.)

In other words, the libertarian candidate in this situation would be Ross Perot…

Midas on April 24, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Well, not *literally* Ross Perot…

Midas on April 24, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Walker/Christie…perfect together.

timberline on April 24, 2014 at 12:19 PM

A double suicide, clever.

CrazyGene on April 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Can we hold off on further masturbatory GOPe presidential candidate posts until after November, perhaps?

Midas on April 24, 2014 at 12:21 PM

If this is what Republicans think will appease their base then they’re still hopelessly lost in the political woods.

Ukiah on April 24, 2014 at 12:21 PM

jeb bush for president , no more republican votes for me, write in time favourite cartoon character

RonK on April 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM

No more Bushes. No more Clintons. And, absolutely, no more Obamas.

Can we hold off on further masturbatory GOPe presidential candidate posts until after November, perhaps?

Good to me. At least until the 2016 primary season actually opens and we really know who is in the running.

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM

The GOPe sure is doing everything they possibly can to get me NOT to vote in November.

Meople on April 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Win with Walker! Scott Walker 2016

cicerone on April 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

+1 – Greatest Governor story in the USA – and many are missing it

jake-the-goose on April 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Stay out da’ bushes!

Midas on April 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Huma/McCain

BL@KBIRD on April 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Now that’s funny!

M240H on April 24, 2014 at 12:25 PM

jeb bush for president , no more republican votes for me, write in time favourite cartoon character

RonK on April 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Marvin the Martian works for me.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 12:25 PM

If this is what Republicans think will appease their base then they’re still hopelessly lost in the political woods.

Ukiah on April 24, 2014 at 12:21 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

The GOPe sure is doing everything they possibly can to get me NOT to vote in November.

Meople on April 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Hmmm, mebee that thar is its true strategery.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

No.

Frankly I don’t want to see any legacy candidates.

No Bush. No Romney. No McCain. No Huckabee. No Santorum. No Gingrich. No Pawlenty. No RINOs.

I’d like to see a selection from Paul, Cruz, Jindal, Perry, Walker, Allen West, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann.

Star Bird on April 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Frankly I don’t want to see any legacy candidates.

Star Bird on April 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

+1

jake-the-goose on April 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Hmmm, mebee that thar is its true strategery.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 12:26 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

Enough of this crap, it would be much more useful if we focus on 2014!

idesign on April 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Win with Walker! Scott Walker 2016

cicerone on April 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

That’s my preference. I’ll take Walker/Paul or Walker/Cruz or Walker/Jindal or Walker/Pence. No Paul at the top of the ticket. No Bush. No Christie. No Ryan. No retreads. No rent.

Nick_Angel on April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

If any RINO runs for president, I will continue voting Libertarian, no matter who is running for VP. If Republicans run on a Democrat Light platform, so be it, but without my vote.

Wilmsch on April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

First post, and may I just say…

NO.

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

I don’t suppose we could nominate Jeb just long enough to watch lefty heads across the country explode…..

Probably not. Well, that’s the only benefit I can see to a Jeb nomination, so I’m out.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

No.

Frankly I don’t want to see any legacy candidates.

No Bush. No Romney. No McCain. No Huckabee. No Santorum. No Gingrich. No Pawlenty. No RINOs.

I’d like to see a selection from Paul, Cruz, Jindal, Perry, Walker, Allen West, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann.

Star Bird on April 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Sounds good. I will not vote for another Bush. Two was more than enough. None of those RINOs listed are true conservatives.

sadatoni on April 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM

“Three Bushs” is not a good slogan for the USA.

“Three Clintons” isn’t either.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Thank You. This can not be repeated enough!

rottenrobbie on April 24, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I don’t suppose we could nominate Jeb just long enough to watch lefty heads across the country explode…..

Probably not. Well, that’s the only benefit I can see to a Jeb nomination, so I’m out.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Well, I think that nominating Bush would have the opposite effect on the left – LIBERALS would love nothing more than for Jeb to be nominated, because they know that he would lose to whoever the democrats vomited up – BUT, even if by some miracle he were to win, they would be thrilled, because Jeb is a raging liberal.

Pork-Chop on April 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM

No more senators! Ted Cruz is my favorite Republican but he has never RUN anything bigger than an office. We have so many governors to choose from.

Walker from Wisconsin.

Jindal from Louisiana.

Perry from Texas.

Hailey from North Carolina.

That is just off the top of my head. There are…25(?) more.

Win with Walker! Scott Walker 2016

cicerone on April 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Walker is very interesting to me. His complete lack of national coverage after what has happened in Wisconsin is very telling. That is why he is always at the top of my list. Jindal is always second because of his actual expertise with health insurance and education.

Mord on April 24, 2014 at 12:40 PM

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

About as odd a Jeb’s dad going from decrying Reagan’s “voodoo economics” to accepting the VP nomination beside him in 1980, eh?

cs89 on April 24, 2014 at 12:45 PM

It’d certainly help Bush get a grudging second look from grassroots righties.

Nope, both Bush and Rubio are dead men walking in Florida.

There is no amount of Bush Mafia BS that can fix this.

It’s the corruption, stupid.

If the donors want to commit suicide they can knock themselves out because you can’t win without your base. There are more of us than them. Holding our nose is no longer an option. The last time I did that was in 2008. I voted for Palin.

I did not vote for Romney.

I will vote Democrat just for the gopE candidate to get shellacked.

Bush and Hillary should run on the same ticket
What difference does it make.
Bush said he will govern like LBD. He’s a Democrat.

Jayrae on April 24, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Paul does that, he is done. It’s like the cabbie BO in that Seinfeld episode, Paul will never be able to get rid of it.

Sarzan on April 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Comment pages: 1 2