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. [Washington Post]
THE REPORT Gov. Chris Christie took great pains to commission and get delivered isn’t going to stop elite Republican donors, those people who backed Mitt Romney, from worrying about a viable candidate to take on Senator Rand Paul, who is the first politician getting a 50-state plan ready for 2016.
That guy is Jeb Bush, according to the Washington Post.
On Thursday night, Bush was feted here at a VIP dinner held by Sheldon Adelson inside the billionaire casino magnate’s airplane hangar. When one donor told Bush, “I hope you run for president in 2016,” the crowd of about 60 guests burst into applause, said a donor in attendance.
Bush also met privately with Adelson. One person with knowledge of the conversation said that the former governor was “very laid back and comfortable” and that they did not discuss the 2016 campaign.
I’m obviously not the target audience for Republicans, but Jeb Bush has never impressed me, with his immigration flip flop one of the most awkward moments I’ve ever seen for a politician who’s supposed to be so astute, so smart. Mr. Bush has also never shown the temperament required for a thoroughbred presidential candidate, which is what it’s going to take to beat Democrats in 2016 nationally. Can you see Jeb Bush battling the right during the primaries without wanting to knock heads?
It’s far too soon to say Gov. Chris Christie has survived the bridgegate scandal, but he’s got to be concerned with the latest talk about Jeb Bush.
None of this addresses the George W. Bush factor if Jeb Bush wants to run, which I think the people inside the Republican establishment would be well to consider. Jeb isn’t George, but no one has gotten over that era either.
It’s just the establishment has a big problem. Senator Rand Paul is already laying the groundwork for his candidacy, a thought that obviously freaks out the Republican Party establishment in a very real way.
Then there’s finding someone who can run against Hillary Clinton and not lose in a blow out.
Jeb Bush and Kelly Ayotte isn’t a bad ticket, but neither is Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Susana Martinez. Republicans do understand they’ll need a woman on the ticket, right?
The trouble for Christie, should he survive the Fishman investigation, begins with the negative research Romney’s team dug up that includes plenty of dirt that on top of the latest scandals could spell trouble he can’t survive.
Looking at Rand Paul, with his foreign policy isolationism and libertarian views, for big money GOP donors, Jeb Bush not only looks more presidential to them, but also a savior from another calamitous national election.
Though let’s get real, none of these white guys can beat Hillary Clinton.