The re-emergence of the former Florida governor on the national stage with a flurry of media appearances has fired new speculation about his ambitions and intentions. Is his book, Immigration Wars, a step toward a 2016 presidential campaign? Is Bush edging to the right on immigration to undercut Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, his onetime protégé and potential 2016 rival? Is he moving to clear the GOP field, as Hillary Clinton might easily do on the Democratic side?
Among politicos who know Bush well, there’s a simpler explanation for the stepped-up activity: It’s just Jeb being Jeb.
The former two-term Florida chief executive has largely played by his own set of rules since leaving office in 2007. Bush has engaged sporadically in partisan politics but has claimed a role for himself as a man above the grubby work of winning elections — a conservative leader who would sooner think deep thoughts at his education reform think tank than hit the campaign trail.
Yet Bush, who turned 60 last month, has plainly not ruled out the prospect of a 2016 presidential campaign. He has indicated to donors that he will take a long look at a White House bid before deciding one way or the other.