Carville: Jeb Bush will be GOP Nominee

James Carville predicted yesterday that Jeb Bush will get the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

At CNN’s America Votes 2008 Breakfast, the chief architect of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential run predicted that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be the Republican nominee in 2008. Jeb is a younger brother of President Bush.

Carville bolstered his prediction, highlighting Jeb Bush’s career: He was a successful governor of a large state, he enjoys the support of social conservatives, he speaks Spanish, and “he’s somebody the party could rally around,” Carville said. “There is nobody in this field who can rally the Republican Party; he’s the only person in America that can do it,” he added.

Given that it was a breakfast meeting, one would presume Carville was sober when he made these comments. While I respect his skills as a political analyst, though, this strikes me as more than a little farfetched.

First, there’s the fact that Jeb Bush’s last name is “Bush.” His brother, the incumbent president, is incredibly unpopular, disliked by even a sizable portion of the Republican base. Second, he’s not only indicated that he’s not running but he has made no move to run and has no organization in the key early primary states. It’s almost certainly too late for him to get in at this point.

Carville’s right, though, that none of the current candidates yet excites the party. Then again, somebody will get the nomination and thereby become the alternative to, presumably, Hillary Clinton. That will be enough to rally the troops.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    He was a successful governor of a large state

    Some of us Floridians will question Carville’s definition of “successful”.

    There is nobody in this field who can rally the Republican Party; he’s the only person in America that can do it

    Funny, wasn’t that the exact same thing people were saying about Fred Thompson before he entered the race?

    Carville’s right, though, that none of the current candidates yet excites the party. Then again, somebody will get the nomination and thereby become the alternative to, presumably, Hillary Clinton. That will be enough to rally the troops.

    Ah yes, whomever gets the GOP nomination will have the support of loyal GOP voters, but will they be able to translate their “lesser of two evils” support into “leave home/work early to stand in line and vote for someone you don’t like”? And if GOP voters don’t turn up to vote for President, they also don’t vote for GOP congressmen, or state officials, etc.

    A demotivated base is going to be the GOP’s biggest problem this cycle, possibly even more so than last cycle, because we already have Speaker Pelosi, and nobody is telling them that their vote can change that this year.

  2. […] James Joyner: "Given that it was a breakfast meeting, one would presume Carville was sober when he made these comments. While I respect his skills as a political analyst, though, this strikes me as more than a little farfetched." […]

  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    This gave me a great laugh. Not because Jeb wouldn’t make a great president, but because ’08 is just not his year.

    There ought to be a web site that tracks peoples predictions (like this) and then tracks how often those predicitions come true. Then, you could have a pundit rating scheme. Probably a three part indicating the number of predictions made, the number of predictions events that have been included and the percentage they got right.

  4. Grewgills says:

    There ought to be a web site that tracks peoples predictions (like this) and then tracks how often those predicitions come true.

    and they should put their tally at the bottom of the screen whenever they appear on a pundit or news show.

  5. bob in fl says:

    God, I hope Carville is wrong about JEB being the GOP nominee. Maybe I am too close to 8 years of JEB’s governorship. That his regime was successful is debatable, but his popularity as governor of Florida is not. Thus his success SEEMS real. His record & life is the neocon platform in detail.

    The GOP Convention seems headed for a deadlock. If that becomes reality, JEB would be a logical choice as a unity candidate, in spite of his last name being Bush. He is much smarter than George, just as cunning as Cheney, & a master of the photo op. After 8 years of JEB here in the land of oranges & tourist traps & the FUBAR 2000 election, I would really, really hate to see that happen.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    It’s good to see that Mr. Carville is leading an active and vivid fantasy life.