Will Jeb Steal Marco’s 2016 Thunder?
Around the State
The appearance for 2016 -- at least as the national media portray it -- continues to be that the Sunshine State will be affixed to the GOP ticket.
The question that continues to swirl is, will it be U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, or is former Gov. Jeb Bush planning his move?
Capitol insiders with long ties to the governor say they've heard rumblings, some even hopeful and eager to help rev up his campaign machine. But they could only offer speculation if Bush would jump into a national contest, and still believe he would have been the strongest in the 2008 Senate race or among the 2012 presidential field.
"I never ever thought he'd stay out of the political level and I think that he has a lot to offer the nation," said one insider and former campaigner. "He has years ahead of him to do some good for the country."
Following the general election, Rubio was quickly anointed the next darling of the right, if that is what one could call someone who for nearly a year was on the tips of every vice presidential discussion while brushing up on his foreign policy credentials and becoming a regular Sunday morning talk show guest.
But now the New York Times has its eyes on the 59-year-old Bush, a flowing A1 piece over the Thanksgiving holiday at a time when liberal news sites, however unfair, were blowing gaskets over the 41-year-old Rubio’s political rather than scientific response to a question on the age of the earth.
“After Mitt Romney’s defeat by a Democratic coalition built around overwhelming support from Hispanics and other fast-growing demographic groups, many Republicans are looking for a candidate who can help make the party more inclusive without ceding conservative principles -- and no one is the subject of more speculation at this point than Mr. Bush,” the Times stated.
Bush has proven his management style both in the government and private sectors, offers strong conservative social credentials and brings ties with Hispanics, as his wife, Columba, was born and raised in Mexico. He speaks Spanish and has favored a more liberal take on immigration by offering a path to citizenship for those illegally in the country but who have otherwise been law-abiding.
More importantly, with the nation facing an economic fiscal cliff, and the eyes of a media turning their focus on the anti-tax pledge of conservative Grover Norquist, Bush has shown he is opposed to higher taxes but refused to sign Norquist’s anti-tax pledge.
One question that could weigh in any decision by the former governor is this: Can someone who has shown himself to be more politically and personally savvy than a former two-term president overcome the perceived stigma of the Bush brand?
Read more here.
Reach Jim Turner at email@example.com or at (772) 215-9889.