Is America ready for another President Bush? According to a report posted Thursday evening on the Wall Street Journal, we may see that question answered in 2016. According to the report Jeb Bush’s closest advisers are telling GOP strategists and fundraisers not to commit to other possible presidential candidates before he decides whether he will run, which should be soon after the November midterms. One member of his circle says its better than 50/50 that he will run.
The message from Mr. Bush’s inner circle over the past few months is in part an effort to bat down speculation that the former Florida governor has ruled out a 2016 run, say GOP donors and strategists who have talked to the Bush camp. The message, as one put it, is: “Before you do anything, let us know.”
Jim Nicholson, a Bush supporter who served in President George W. Bush’s cabinet, said: “I think the chances are better than 50-50 that he runs, and that is based on some conversations I’ve had with members of the Bush family.”
Mr. Bush’s aides aren’t actively making calls but responding to supporters who are fielding inquiries from other potential candidates, according to those involved in the conversations.
Mr. Bush is a top choice of the establishment wing of the Republican Party. His entry would help define the policy fights of the primary process, as his support for overhauling immigration law and for the Common Core national educational standards has drawn strong opposition from many conservatives.
Mr. Bush has said the impact on his family of a presidential run would be a paramount concern. One of his three children, Jeb Bush Jr., said the matter hasn’t come up in family gatherings, though the issue is “the 800-pound gorilla in the room.”
“A lot of people are waiting to see what Dad does,” the junior Mr. Bush, who works at his father’s Miami-area business consulting firm, said in an interview Thursday. “There’s a lot of pressure to run.”
Mr. Bush wasn’t available for comment, a spokeswoman said. A top adviser, Sally Bradshaw, said: “There is no organized effort to actively recruit support for a presidential campaign. He is seriously considering the race and will make a decision sometime after November.”
If Bush does run his one saving grace may be that the issues with Hillary’s last name may cancel out the issues with his last name.
On the other hand Bush would face his fiercest opposition in the primaries as his stances on gun control as well as common core and immigration will alienate the conservative wing of the party and may even divide the party should he get the nomination.
A Bush run would most certainly guarantee that Romney wouldn’t run. Romney doesn’t want to run and a moderate candidate would make him satisfied to stay on the sidelines.
In addition to keeping potential donors and supporters on deck, Mr. Bush is taking other steps that typically precede a presidential campaign: traveling the country, engaging in publicpolicy debates and raising money for his party. A newly established fundraising committee allows him to funnel donations from his financial backers to GOP candidates key to winning a majority in the U.S. Senate. Mr. Bush is slated to headline a Sept. 23 event in Tampa that organizers hope will raise as much as $1 million for GOP Senate candidates Cory Gardner in Colorado, Joni Ernst in Iowa, Monica Wehby in Oregon, Tom Cotton in Arkansas and Dan Sullivan in Alaska.
(…) Mr. Bush is also planning to attend fundraisers for Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner on Sept. 18 in Chicago and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Coral Gables on Sept. 19. He has already helped raise money for a number of GOP candidates, many of them in states crucial to winning the 2016 nomination. They have included Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Its called collecting chits and if Bush decides to run he cash them in by securing endorsements.
We will have to wait three months to know for sure but the suspicion here is that Jeb Bush throws his hat in the ring.