• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Top Republicans Looking To Jeb Bush In 2016

Jeb Bush

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has passed up the chance to run for President twice already. The first time, of course, was in 2008 when the idea of a Bush in the White House for another four to eight years was pretty much off the table, so one could say that Governor Bush was making the politically smart decision in staying out of a race that he probably wouldn’t have won anyway. Bush’s name came up again, though, in 2012 when some Republican insiders came to doubt Mitt Romney’s ability to hold off insurgent candidates like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declined to throw his own hat in the ring. Now, as we approach the time when people who are serious about running for President in two years (a race that will essentially begin the day after the 2014 midterm elections), Bush’s name is once again being mentioned by top Republicans and, this time, there are at least some indications that the former Florida Governor may follow in the footsteps of his father and brother:

LAS VEGAS — Many of the Republican Party’s most powerful insiders and financiers have begun a behind-the-scenes campaign to draft former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the 2016 presidential race, courting him and his intimates and starting talks on fundraising strategy.

Concerned that the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal has damaged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political standing and alarmed by the steady rise of Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), prominent donors, conservative leaders and longtime operatives say they consider Bush the GOP’s brightest hope to win back the White House.

Bush’s advisers insist that he is not actively exploring a candidacy and will not make a decision until at least the end of this year. But over the past few weeks, Bush hastraveled the country delivering policy speeches, campaigning for Republicans ahead of the fall midterm elections, honing messages on income inequality and foreign policy, and cultivating ties with wealthy benefactors — all signals that he is considering a run.

Many if not most of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s major donors are reaching out to Bush and his confidants with phone calls, e-mails and invitations to meet, according to interviews with 30 senior Republicans. One bundler estimated that the “vast majority” of Romney’s top 100 donors would back Bush in a competitive nomination fight.

“He’s the most desired candidate out there,” said another bundler, Brian Ballard, who sat on the national finance committees for Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008. “Everybody that I know is excited about it.”

A Bush candidacy would not be without its difficulties, of course. Though they don’t say so publicly, Republicans are still sufficiently burned from the Bush Administration to likely be reluctant to attach themselves to another Bush brother, even if it happens to be one whose record in office is far batter. Additionally, at least among the Tea Party grassroots of the GOP, Bush is seen as somewhere to the left of Lindsey Graham not withstanding the fact that his actual record as Governor of Florida was fairly conservative on fiscal and other issues. Finally, in the time since he left office Bush has been most closely associated with two issues that have become largely anathema to the base of the Republican Party, immigration reform and education reform. On the first issue, Bush, along with his close political protege Senator Marco Rubio, have been denounced for advocating what the Tea Party crowd, largely falsely, claims to be “amnesty” for people who are in the nation illegally. Indeed, Rubio has suffered politically himself for his support of the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last year. On the second issue,  Bush’s support for so-called “Common Core” standards, which have been to a largely degree falsely portrayed on the right as an effort to increase Federal control of education, would likely also pose a problem for him with conservative voters.

On the other hand, Bush could find himself in the same position Mitt Romney was in 2012. Like Romney, Bush would likely face a field made up of a large number of candidates attempting to appeal to the same group of voters. So far, we’ve seen 2016 speculation about Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee, for example. Without a doubt, other candidates seeking to appeal to the Tea Party/hardcore conservative wing of the GOP will enter the race as well. Meanwhile, assuming for the moment that Bush is the only significant “establishment” candidate in the race, the former Florida Governor would stand virtually alone as the one candidate that the big money donors in the GOP would be most likely to rally behind. As we saw in 2012 once the primaries started, money and a well-organized campaign go a long way in a drawn out primary fight. If the 2016 race gets to the point where Bush is seen as the inevitable nominee, then all of the doubts about his ability to win the party’s nomination will disappear and even the activists will rally behind him, just as they rallied behind Romney/Ryan in 2012.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Do it GOP! Try to put a 3rd Bush in the White House!

    Bahahahahaha!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  2. al-Ameda says:

    My question is this: are the American people as tired of the Bush family as they are of the Kennedy family? Plus, Jeb is tethered to Florida, a state that many people consider to be the Area 51 of of American politics.

    We’re about a year away from actually caring about Iowa and various small state caucuses, so I guess we’ll see if the Republican Party – let alone the American people – actually want to anoint another Bush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. superdestroyer says:

    The Republicans have put their hand in the “Bush fire” twice and been burned both times. Any Republican who would support a third Bush Administration is a person who refuses to learn from the past experiences.

    Do the idiots who are kissing the ring of Sheldon Adelson to stupid that they fail to realize that whatever Adelson supports is probably wrong from most Republican voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. Ron Beasley says:

    They must be really desperate! Jeb is supposed to be the smart one, if that’s the case it doesn’t speak well for the Bush gene pool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  5. gVOR08 says:

    If Hillary runs, Jeb won’t. If not, he likely will. And if so, establishment money will buy the nomination, as it did for the establishment candidate in the last two cycles. The Kochs and their fellow travelers have a lot of control over the base. They’ll come along. Bush is oil. The Kochs are oil. What’s for the Kochs to not like?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  6. CSK says:

    I’m a little surprised that Mike Pence’s name never comes up in any of these speculations, but that may be because he’s never expressed a whit of interest in the job. So far, anyway.

    As for the base–if you consider the base to be the Tea Party–I doubt they’d rally behind Bush if he becomes the nominee. They seem to hate all the Bushes worse than they hate Obama or Hillary Clinton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Paludicola says:

    If the 2016 Presidential election ends up with Jeb Bush against Hillary Clinton, I might just openly weep and vote for some random third party candidate. I won’t matter if I end up voting for a nazi or something so long as he doesn’t have the same name as another president (or two!) in the last thirty years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  8. Kari Q says:

    The very fact that speculation about Jeb Bush is making the rounds suggests that Republicans are already looking desperately for a candidate who will save them from themselves. Granted, he’s probably got a better shot than any of the prominent candidates discussed so far, but that’s not saying much. I can’t imagine a set of events that would land a third Bush in the White House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  9. superdestroyer says:

    @Kari Q:

    The talk of Jeb Bush just shows that the U.S. is progressing to being a one party state. The Republicans have no candidate that looks like a winner and no candidate that will help the down ballot races. Of course, the predicament makes sense when one looks at the demographics trends in the U.S. and realize that the U.S. will soon be a one party state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  10. PJ says:

    Desperation is a four letter word. Bush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    They seem to hate all the Bushes worse than they hate Obama or Hillary Clinton

    Not according to polls:

    “The percentage [of Tea Partiers] holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, at 57 percent, almost exactly matches the percentage in the general public that holds an unfavorable view of him.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Well, the problem with that poll is that it dates from 2010, and since then, the Tea Party has become considerably more fringe than it was at its inception. I do some occasional reading at sites that stone Tea Partiers frequent, and the level of hatred for any Republican but Palin and Cruz (plus the usual assortment of junior varsity flakes and clowns like Christine O’Donnell) has to be seen to be believed. The other day I saw Rick Perry referred to as a “radical leftist.” Rick Perry. Clearly these people are not tethered too closely to reality. But I tend to believe then when they say they’d vote for Clinton over Bush. I’m not sure how that would advance their agenda, but, as I’ve pointed out, cognitive dissonance appears to be the defining characteristic of the Tea Party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  13. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: You’re on fire today, SuperDee. This must be the forty-ninth time you’ve posted this, and it’s not even two o’clock. When they give out the Trolly awards this year, I hope people remember you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  14. edmondo says:

    So in 2016 we get a choice of W’s fifth term with Hillary at the head or Jeb at the helm?

    America is pretty much doomed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  15. michael reynolds says:

    Some of you are being way too glib about Jeb Bush. I’ve worried about him for years.

    We can’t play the dynasty card if Hillary is the race. And Jeb would have Florida in his pocket, and would probably be very strong in Virginia, which means we have to win with Ohio, Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in the face of Republican voter-suppression. It is never going to be fun ceding Florida up front, that’s already a bad race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  16. EddieInCA says:

    Hmmm…..

    How easy will it to run ads that say…

    “Which time in America was better? The time of Clinton? Or the time of Bush?”

    Which state, other than Florida, can Bush put into play that Obama carried?

    What makes Bush someone that the base, energy, and grassroots of the GOP will rally behind?

    How does any GOP candidate get to 270 Electoral votes, given that the GOP starts out without any shot at California, New York, Illinois, and almost the entire Northeast?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I seem to recall Republicans winning with CA and IL and New England a lot in my life. There’s a reason we’re talking about the third Bush: it’s because two others got elected.

    The GOP base doesn’t have to “rally behind” anyone. They aren’t “For” anything, they’re against. So all you need to get GOP base voters to rally is yell, “Ni**er! Or “Homo!” These are people who think requiring free riders to buy health insurance is the moral equivalent of Dachau. They feed on rage and fear and hate. They’ll rally just as soon as their favorite hate-monger tells them to. They voted for a senile old crank and a bimbo. They voted for a man who thinks they’re all going to hell because they don’t wear full-body underwear and believe Jesus was an Indian.*

    *Poetic license.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  18. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: It’s not about the dynasty card. It’s the Bush card.

    Bill Clinton left office with above 60% approval, and it’s gone up from there.

    Both Bush presidents skulked out of office loathed by just about everyone.

    So it’s not “aren’t there more than two families in America?” It’s “Jesus Christ, another one of these losers?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  19. beth says:

    @michael reynolds: Quite right. Consider the Newsmax headline I saw today: Poll shows Republicans prefer paying fines than enrolling in Obamacare. They operate on pure hate and spite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  20. gVOR08 says:

    Campaign slogans:
    THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM
    WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THREE LOSERS IN A ROW?
    THREE ON A MATCH
    WE KNOW WHAT NOT TO DO NEXT TIME
    IF YOU LEARN FROM MISTAKES, WHO’S LEARNED MORE THAN US?
    W WHO?
    THERE ARE STILL PARTS OF THE MIDDLE EAST WE HAVEN’T INVADED
    IT’S TIME FOR A RECESSION FREE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

    Anybody else want to play?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  21. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    What is amazing is that the trend of the U.S. becoming a one party state has been there for year but it is only in the last year that more people have begun to write about it. I think one of the easiest way to tell that the U.S. will be a one party state is that probably 90% of the Ivy Leaguers are either Democrats or Greens. The last thing an Ivy League would be these days is a Republicans. Politics in the U.S. cannot exist as contest between the Ivy Leaguers and the state school drop outs. When virtually everyone in the media, on Wall Street, on in DC is a liberal Democrats, there is no reason to believe that a two party system will continue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  22. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Sorry, but scouring comments on websites is no substitute for a scientific poll on what proportion of Tea Partiers believe what things. It should go without saying that Tea Partiers aren’t monolithic. That’s been true from the beginning. Even in that 2010 poll, 43% did not have a favorable view of Bush. That’s a lot; it just isn’t a majority.

    As for whether the Tea Party today has a positive view of Bush or not, I can’t find a poll from the past year specifically addressing that question, but there are some clues. A June 2013 Gallup poll, for example, reported that 84% of Republicans have a favorable view of Bush. You’re not going to seriously suggest that it is the 16% who answered no to that question who better represent the Republican “base,” are you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  23. Franklin says:

    I’ll be honest. It could be worse than President Jeb Bush. If his brother had just had the smarts to get somebody other than Cheney as VP, I think we would look back at his administration with less anguish (for one thing, we might not have started two wars after 9/11).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. Grumpy Realist says:

    Iisn’t this Bush relatively bland? He’s the “inoffensive candidate” at least he gives the impression of being smarter than Dubya, who always struck me as a gullible boob. (one of my friends had met W. and told me he was the stupidest idiot he had ever met.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  25. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “What is amazing is that the trend of the U.S. becoming a one party state has been there for year but it is only in the last year that more people have begun to write about it.”

    It’s not that people are writing about it. It’s that you write about it so frequently that you’ve come to believe that no one person could be responsible for so many thousands of repetitions.

    As the Shirelles so musically put it, baby, it’s you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  26. derfallbright says:

    @Kylopod:

    I am familiar with Jeb as the Governor of Florida and he was very good, he did not strike me as an ordinary partisan hack the way most politicians do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Kylopod says:

    @derfallbright: what are you responding to in any of my comments so far? I haven’t talked about Jeb at all in this thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Kari Q says:

    @Franklin:

    It could be worse than President Jeb Bush. If his brother had just had the smarts to get somebody other than Cheney as VP, I think we would look back at his administration with less anguish (for one thing, we might not have started two wars after 9/11).

    Funny thing is, at the time Cheney as VP sounded like a good move. His association with the senior Bush reassured some voters that the son was more moderate than they feared, and Cheney was expected to be a restraining influence on W. How wrong perceptions can be!

    That being the case, perhaps Michael Reynolds is correct and Jeb has a better chance of being president than I am giving him. I still don’t see it, and Hillary versus Jeb won’t necessarily make a big difference. A lot of people still don’t hold a high opinion of Hillary, but most of them weren’t going to vote for any Democrat, and if it’s dynasty versus dynasty, then wr and gVOR08 are probably correct. All you’d need to do is show the unemployment rate during Clinton’s term and W.’s and H.W.’s. it would be an easy choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Kari Q: Jeb Bush–Better than the alternative.
    I like it! It has a nice ring to it, n’est pas?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK: I’m outside of that loop. What sites cater to Tea Party types? I ask because thing are not funny at my school anymore and I can use a laugh.

    “Radical leftist Rick Perry.” That was funny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. Peter says:

    @Mark Ivey:

    And after Jed, there’s always George P. waiting in the wings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Robin Cohen says:

    No voter in their right mind is going to want Jeb Bush in the White House.
    Remember, he gave us GWB when Jeb was Governor of Florida.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  33. Paul Hooson says:

    What is this bizarre fascination with the Bush family? The father, George H W Bush won election in 1988 with 53.4%, but years of weak economic performance caused him to lose election in 1992, garnering only 37.5% of the vote. His son, George W. Bush actually lost the popular vote in 2000, but won a technical victory in the electoral college. In 2004, he won a narrow, the worst of an incumbent president in history, as more dissatisfaction over the economy and other conditions began to build. Neither Bush considered a great leader, with both administrations characterized as bedeviled by economic malaise among other problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    I have seen Charlie Cook discussing the same thing this week. Anyone who can add sees that there is no way that a conservative party can survive in the U.S. The only difference is whether the U.S. will operate with two liberal parties that disagree on almost no issue or whether the U.S. will become a one party state. Given how many states currently operate as one party states, it would seem that being a one party state is more likely versus the U.S. having two parties that are not allowed to disagree over issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  35. superdestroyer says:

    @Peter:

    The only way that George P. Bush will have a career in politics is if he becomes a Democrat in the next few years along the same lines as the relatives of Eisenhower.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  36. Ben Johannson says:

    Not mentioned is that Republicans were in Las Vegas to kiss the ring of Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino king. I’ve stated before the party leadership is now controlled by American oligarchs and entirely composed of their lobbyists and political lackeys; if this doesn’t illustrate that perfectly I don’t know what does.

    Actual conservatives are going to need a new party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  37. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: I don’t share your belief about Tea Party sentiments vis-a-vis the Bushes. We have friends who are big supporters of the Tea Party in Texas; a lot of what they post on Facebook is laudatory to W and the alleged accomplishments of his administration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. I really grow tried of people referring to Jeb Bush as the “smart one”. He’s as stupid and crazy as any other RWNJ out there which became clear when he started pushing that RWNJ talking point that “OBAMA CLOSED THE VATICAN EMBASSY!!1!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Timothy Watson: Doubly stupid in that, as noted at your link, not only is the move not a downgrade in any way, the plan started in Jeb’s brother’s administration. Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers on NPR, often ask the zen question, “Do two brothers who know nothing know less than one?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  40. grumpy realist says:

    @Ben Johannson: Actually, the Financial Times has a great opinion article today about the danger the 1% pose to American democracy. Pointing out that we’ve got problems on both sides.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If it’s Hillary and Jeb, Jeb has a chance. A chance that will be blown out of the water when the GOP sinks into it’s inevitable misogynistic trance.

    Seriously, I don’t know whether to be worried, because Jeb will play the “I’m not HER!” card repeatedly and a not insignificant portion of the US populace will go for it, or gleeful because you just know the GOP can’t help itself and no matter how Jeb says it, “Vote for me, I’m not really like the rest of these guys.” will never convince even 20% of the women to vote for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  42. Franklin says:

    @Kari Q:

    Funny thing is, at the time Cheney as VP sounded like a good move. His association with the senior Bush reassured some voters that the son was more moderate than they feared …

    I actually don’t remember that because I wasn’t following politics much then. Cheney was meant to be the moderate voice behind GWB? Wow!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: It was more along the lines of a “foreign policy realist” and was put on the ticket to counter the attack that Bush had absolutely no idea of anything outside of Texas. It was thought that his stewardship of the Gulf War was exemplary. And it was. Unfortunately, of all the policies Cheney implemented in the conduct of that conflict? None of them were his. Something nobody outside of a very close circle realized until after W had been installed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  44. The baggage any GOP candidate brings can be summed up with “zero governing achievements.” Bush 43 is kryptonite, as are his policies. He cannot be mentioned, seen, or even thought about at length. The whole eight years does not exist. There is nothing upon which to run, not even from the “victory” in 2010.

    When the candidate’s name is again Bush, that baggage becomes a Samsonite factory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  45. PD Shaw says:

    If Jeb Bush were to win the states his brother won in 2000, he would get 285 electoral votes. George W. only got 271 electoral votes. The value of red states have increased, but some of them became more purple with Obama. I think these are the states that Obama won that George W. won:

    Florida (29)
    Virginia (13)
    Ohio (18)

    Colorado (9)
    New Hampshire (4)
    Nevada (6)

    The Republicans probably need to win the first three, plus one of the second three.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. EddieInCA says:

    If Hillary ends up the Dem nominee, how many Republican moderate women, choose to vote for the historical female candidate over the nominee of their party?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  47. @Franklin: I was under the impression that Bush (“compassion conservatism”, etc.) was considered somewhat the moderate in the race against McCain.

    Mind you, I was 12 years old when the 2000 election happened, so I might be misremembering something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  48. rudderpedals says:

    @michael reynolds: Do not prematurely cede Florida. Jeb left a tarnished legacy and is not well thought of here outside of his Miami/Dade co home base and among the few remaining Bush devotees. It’s true he locks in the Cuban diaspora but they were voting R anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  49. PD Shaw says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Franklin: My recollection is a little different. I think Cheney represented Washington experience. A lot of state governor candidates tend to be matched-up with Washington insiders, people like Lloyd Benson, Al Gore, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan and Bush the First. I don’t think most Americans care about foreign policy, but want someone as VP that could do the President’s job if needed. Also, I think Bush II let it be known that he wanted Colin Powell as his Sec. of State.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. Eric Florack says:

    The frigtening thing is it ignores the well established reality. The American public in majority does
    Liberal lite again.
    They’re setting themselves up for a loss… and they have no idea why.

    I refer to what I said last week….

    Some advice to the GOP leadership….

    If you want to win elections, your strategy should not include what the Karl Roves of the world are telling you. I like Karl and respect him. But facts are facts. The advice coming from the inside the beltway types has been anything but good. Such advice has lost you the last two elections, both of which should have been cake walks.

    To win, ponder these points.

    1. The number of people not voting is going up year over year. Its to the point now where the vast majority of Americans simply do not vote at all. Polling data tell us that the majority of Americans come down to the right of anything that either party has puked up since Reagan. That situation has become more pronounced over the last 6 years or so. Nobody is representing the majority of America. So….Forget chasing the mythical political center. It doesn’t exist. Instead, go after those not voting. Give them someone to vote for.

    2. Don’t let your opponents pick your candidate. Democrats, every year, give advice on who they would like to see running for President from the GOP. Such advice invariably gets played loud and often on the lapdog media. But I wonder a bit… Has it occurred to anyone in our erstwhile GOP leadership that the Democrats in so doing, are picking people that will be the easiest to beat, or at least, cause the least damage to the leftist mantra should such candidate by some miracle actually win? We let them pick the top of our ticket with Dole, McCain, Romney. The last time we didn’t take the left’s advice was in 1979/80. Do the math.

    (Consider, too, that the GOP leadership of the time wasn’t too happy about Reagan running. I know. I was there in 1976. I saw it. How’d their pick work out that year?)

    3. You have to nominate a TRUE conservative to win the Presidential election. If you are going to claim being the small government party, you’d better actually BE that party. The citizenry isn’t as stupid as your actions suggest you think they are. As an example… if you’re going to castigate the Democrat for his big government healthcare fiasco, you might want to make sure the guy at the top of your ticket didn’t write the majority of the bloody thing. Democrat lite which is all you guys know how to do, ain’t gonna cut it, gang.

    4. Don’t listen to the lamestream media lapdogs when they try to tell you why you lost. Same reasoning as number two. A look at our elections history, who has lost and who has won big, exposes their lies as such, and gives you your path to follow.

    5. The conservative agenda needs to be properly explained and sold tominorities and single women. It does not need to be altered to make it valid to such people. It already IS valid. It needs to be pointed up what a disaster the left and its policies has been to minorities… what moving away from small government conservatism has done to them, and is still doing to them. As Charles Barclay says, poor people and minorities have been voting Democrat for generations… they’re still poor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  51. wr says:

    @Eric Florack: You’re right, Eric. The Republicans should do everything you say, and they’ll be guaranteed a landslide almost as big as Goldwater’s…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  52. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Polling data tell us that the majority of Americans come down to the right of anything that either party has puked up since Reagan.

    Your posts have been an educational experience for me. Until I read them, I did not know that higher taxes on the rich, an increase in the minimum wage, leaving Social Security and Medicare alone, a path to citizenship for immigrants, and same-sex marriage are all “to the right of anything that either party has puked up since Reagan.” I guess my sense of left and right is hopelessly distorted, having lived my life outside a mirror.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  53. @Eric Florack:

    The number of people not voting is going up year over year. Its to the point now where the vast majority of Americans simply do not vote at all.

    The two elections which Obama won both had a higher voter turnout percentage (2008: 61.6%; 2012: 58.2%) than either of the two elections Reagan won (1980: 52.6%; 1984: 53.1%).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  54. Eric Florack says:

    @wr: I recall them saying the same about Reagan.
    How’d that one work out?

    @Kylopod: Tell us… why do you suppose the pre-election polling data was so far off, these last two elections? Only two possible, here. Most of whom they polled didn’t vote, or election fraud.

    @Timothy Watson: The point you’re missing is the raw numbers… the overall participation rate. Reagans nomination brought out people who had never voted before in their lives, in record numbers. Obama can’t even come close to that claim, even when you exclude the idea of vote fraud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  55. Someone please slap me across the head with the troll feeding punishment stick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  56. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Obama can’t even come close to that claim, even when you exclude the idea of vote fraud.

    You just constantly spew crap that is demonstrably wrong; not matters of opinion, but factually incorrect. Weathermen aren’t as wrong as you are.

    Facts:
    A record 54.5 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 voted in ’08.
    They made up a higher proportion of the electorate—18 percent—than the 65-and-older age category, which accounted for 16 percent.
    Both Indiana and North Carolina went blue solely because of 18-to-29-year-olds.

    I don’t understand how anyone can be so wrong about everything and still manage to get through the day.
    Maybe that is why you are such an ignorant racist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  57. wr says:

    @Eric Florack: ” I recall them saying the same about Reagan.
    How’d that one work out?”

    Well, if you were a peasant in Central America not so well, since Reagan armed and trained death squads to murder you and your family. If you were a multi-millionaire, just fine, because your taxes were cut. If you were part of the middle class, well, kiss your pension and any hope of a raise goodbye.

    Oh, wait. Do you mean how did it work out politically? For Reagan, fine. For all the other “true conservatives” who have run — from George Wallace to Pat Buchanon to Rick Santorum and all the rest of them — not so well. Apparently the public subscribes to the policy of “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  58. Carol Johnson says:

    Big money want to buy another Bush to put in the Whitehouse so they can get a another massive tax cut while the poor and middle class take it on the chin again.
    The military/industrial complex must be having a party to get another Bush in the whitehouse so they can sell billions of war machinery again.

    The last two wars was started with Bushs in the Whitehouse so the war machine makers are having a ball to get another Bush so we can have another war so for the military and their families can bear all the burdens and make all the sacrifices for the war again like the last three when Bushs were in the Whitehouse!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  59. gVOR08 says:

    @Carol Johnson: True. But with the Bush family it’s not just big business. They’re more specifically tools of big oil and the Saudi royal family. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Bush,_House_of_Saud

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  60. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Tell us… why do you suppose the pre-election polling data was so far off, these last two elections? Only two possible, here. Most of whom they polled didn’t vote, or election fraud.

    Ah, yes: the pre-election polling data that was so far off that Nate Silver, using that data, somehow managed to correctly predict the outcome of 49 states in 2008, and 50 in 2012. I could use such “far off’ data myself. I wouldn’t mind becoming a millionaire (with or without Republican tax cuts).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  61. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: And IIRC Sam Wang at Princeton and a group at RAND were also spot on, Wang used the same polling data and actually got the popular vote total slightly better than Silver. RAND had their own, very interesting methodology. They polled the same pool of voters for a year or more, and also got it pretty close.

    Romney had every fair warning he should have had a concession speech ready. And @Eric Florack: , Silver says that when he was saying 90% chance Obama would win, he was fudging on the side of caution. The number crunching said like 99%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  62. grewgills says:

    @Kylopod:
    He’s talking about the real™ (unskewed) polling that he reads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PD Shaw: You might have the more accurate recollection. The basic gist seems to be that Cheney was an adult and would keep Bush the younger from making any real screwups tho.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  64. Mr. Replica says:

    Cheney was added to the ticket to keep W. in line. However, this was due to W. having some what of a good conscience.

    The Neo-Cons could not have that as a wild card.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. Kari Q says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The basic gist seems to be that Cheney was an adult and would keep Bush the younger from making any real screwups tho.

    This is what I recall as well. He was supposed be the experienced mentor that would touch the young man the ropes and keep him from screwing up to badly. That worked out well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  66. Motopilot says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    It was thought that his stewardship of the Gulf War was exemplary. And it was. Unfortunately, of all the policies Cheney implemented in the conduct of that conflict? None of them were his. Something nobody outside of a very close circle realized until after W had been installed.

    For years I have wondered about the Dick Cheney of the Gulf War versus the Dick Cheney of the Iraq War. The two just seem too much at odds. What you wrote seems to be the only explanation that makes sense. So I’m curious… do you have some good source recommendations to offer on this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  67. MarkedMan says:

    A Jeb candidacy might have some interesting revelations when we get to the general. Given that:
    - Jeb has been out of office for several years
    - He has spent that time earning big money
    - Florida is has a reputation for corruption
    - Floridians have a very high threshold for electing people tainted by corruption (ex: current gov) but the majority of the country doesn’t share this threshold
    - He has a brother who participated in such corrupt shenanigans that it literally took having a father as a sitting president to keep him out of jail
    … well, I wouldn’t be surprised if we spend July – November with reporters outdoing each other trying to find a smoking gun. I’m not saying there is one, but rather that it would simply play to the stereotype and political reports love nothing more than confirming stereotypes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  68. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    Romney had every fair warning he should have had a concession speech ready. … Silver says that when he was saying 90% chance Obama would win, he was fudging on the side of caution.

    The irony of your putting those two sentences together struck me. It isn’t just that Romney believed he was going to win despite all the polling evidence pointing to an Obama victory; it was that he didn’t even think it necessary to err on the side of caution. In contrast, Obama did confess to having a concession speech ready, and I’d wager that he had one four years earlier, when he had an even more dramatic lead in the pre-election polls. That’s what rational people do: cover all bases.

    One of the major characteristics of the Republican bubble today is not just that they’re often dead wrong, but that when they’re dead wrong, they’re still utterly confident that they’re right. People who actually are right, on the other hand, tend to be tentative in their conclusions.

    I’m reminded of the Al Franken quote from his 1996 book: “Social scientists call the phenomenon ‘pseudo-certainty.’ I call it ‘being a f***ing moron.’”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Motopilot: Unfortunately no. My only source for this is a somewhat faulty memory. He also gets credit for (at least some of) the reductions in our DoD shrinkage and the way it was done following the end of the Cold War. And again, IMO, rightfully so. What happened between Bush I and Bush II? The first time he followed Policy. The 2nd time, he made Policy. Is it really that simple? I doubt it, but until the Histories are written, all we have is: Dr Jekyll? Meet Mr Hyde.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  70. Barry says:

    @CSK:
    “As for the base–if you consider the base to be the Tea Party–I doubt they’d rally behind Bush if he becomes the nominee. They seem to hate all the Bushes worse than they hate Obama or Hillary Clinton. ”

    As the saying goes, ‘Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  71. Barry says:

    @Eric Florack: “We let them pick the top of our ticket with Dole, McCain, Romney. The last time we didn’t take the left’s advice was in 1979/80. Do the math.”

    Gawd, but reality and you don’t talk much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  72. Barry says:

    Doug: “As we saw in 2012 once the primaries started, money and a well-organized campaign go a long way in a drawn out primary fight. If the 2016 race gets to the point where Bush is seen as the inevitable nominee, then all of the doubts about his ability to win the party’s nomination will disappear and even the activists will rally behind him, just as they rallied behind Romney/Ryan in 2012.”

    And the Republican establishment has a double reason to crack down on the primary system in 2016: (1) to avoid the zoo of 2012, they’ll probably seek to exclude non-serious candidates (e.g., Newt, Bachmann, Cain), and (2) they’ll want to keep the Tea Party’s candidates out, or handicap them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  73. Mark Bethune says:

    Dick Cheney would make a good GOP candidate in 2016 with Jeb Bush as his VP.
    Do you agree or disagree? And Why?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  74. Mark Bethune says:

    @Franklin: Dick Cheney would make a good GOP candidate in 2016 with Jeb Bush as his VP.
    Do you agree or disagree? And Why?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0