“If we are going to bring the Republican Party back to its glory, it is going to take a leader who understands the diversity and demographics of this country and is willing to show the leadership to stand up to the extremes of the party,” said Texas-based bundler Fred Zeidman, one of his party’s major donors, without referring specifically to Bush.
But following a traumatic White House loss and the restoration of a firm Democratic Senate majority, other Republicans are at the very least hesitant about a coronation of a man whose brother has inflicted significant political damage on the GOP in recent years. Conservatives, especially, are uneasy about running another Bush.
“There was a little Bush on the ticket last night,” said one top Washington Republican, referring to exit polls showing that a majority of Americans still blame George W. Bush for the state of the economy. Romney was loath to mention Bush in the 2012 race, and basically ran away from his policies.
Castellanos said he thinks Bush would “be very attractive if he wants it. You know, there are gonna be some questions about Jeb, one of which is he’s got a little Chris Christie in him too; he kind of does things his way. Does he run or does [Marco] Rubio support him or does a Rubio run [and Jeb support him] … does he sit on a throne or is he a power behind a lot of thrones? [But] right now he is kind of the king in waiting, the prince in waiting for the Republican Party.”