Jeb Bush announces: I'm officially thinking of running for president

There’s no escaping this, is there?

Maybe our 2016 forecasting is all wrong. Maybe, instead of trying to figure out who the nominee will be, we should skip ahead to the part where Jeb is the nominee and a disgruntled Rand Paul is forced to decide whether it’s time to go third-party. Normally I’d call that a kamikaze mission destined to hand the White House to Hillary.

But if we end up nominating three different people from the same nuclear family in less than 25 years, maybe a kamikaze action is what’s called for.

The Republican told a crowd of about 200 people at a Catholic Charities fundraiser in New York that he is “thinking about running for president,” according to an attendee.

The response came to one of the first questions posed to Bush at the Union League luncheon. After his answer, the room went wild, and then someone said they hoped he would take the step…

Bush was praised by Kudlow for his focus on immigration reform and urged not to back down.

“Why would I back down from it? It’s the right thing to do…we’ve got to be an inclusive party,” Bush said, according to the attendee.

Doesn’t this guy officially oppose a path to citizenship for illegals? I can’t square that with the “act of love”/right thing to do rhetoric. If illegal immigration is a wonderful demonstration of family values and it’s incumbent upon the GOP to be “inclusive,” why should illegals be relegated to second-class status by being forever barred from citizenship? Or has that previous Jeb idea quietly been disappeared now that he’s maneuvering to be the centrist champion?

He said he’ll decide after the midterms. My sense after reading umpteen articles about his prospective candidacy is that party chieftains badly want him to do it and he’s perfectly willing to comply except that his wife is reluctant. If he ends up declining because of that, it’ll be the second election in a row where a major candidate with a serious chance at the nomination had to pass because he couldn’t get his spouse to pull the trigger.

Meanwhile, YouGov asked a bunch of people how excited they were for a Bush 3.0 candidacy. Result: Not very. Note the Republican and Hispanic numbers, particularly:


He’s at 11 percent support among women, the same as he is among Democrats. Remember that the next time some big-name Republican tells you the party desperately needs to improve with that demographic.

Exit question via a Twitter pal: Why wouldn’t Paul go third-party in 2016 if he loses early to Jeb? Remember, Kentucky law bars him from running for president and Senate at the same time, so if he jumps into the presidential race, he’s done with the Senate. That means he won’t have to worry about GOP reprisals going forward for opposing Bush. Frankly, if he can’t beat this guy, he may decide that there’s no future for libertarianism in the Republican Party anyway and therefore nothing to lose by becoming an independent.