Slowness Before the Speed Up

Nothing is probably going to happen between now and January 1.  However, once we hit the New Year look for people to start making announcements and jumping into the race.  First, it’ll be exploratory committees and then before you know it crappy bio/policy books and then full blown announcements.  By February 25, the start of CPAC, look for at least 7-8 Republicans to at least have exploratory committees.

No One Saw this Coming

Jeb Bush is going to actively explore a run for the White House.  I wonder what he’ll find?  Maybe diamonds, gold, a lost civilization, or a many rich, older,white guys who are really pumped to have yet ANOTHER Bush in the White House.

Hard to say isn’t it.

This does have HUGE implications on the race.  First, Chris Christie is no longer the favorite to win the backing of Bush Republicans (what some call the Establishment).  Bush will have instant access to their money and support, which Christie was banking on for a run. Second, Marco Rubio will feel the squeeze.  Although his star was already on the decline having Bush in the race means many Florida people will be torn between the two and probably go with the elder over the Senator.

Third, Democrats can no longer assume 2016 will be a slam dunk.  If Bush is the nominee he will be a tough opponent.  He puts Florida, Colorado and Nevada back in play and takes away the chance for the Democrats to take Arizona or North Carolina.

If His Brother Can Do it Why Not

It may not be the most inspiring slogan, but Jeb Bush is probably hoping most people are thinking that.  The former Florida Governor and son/brother of President is giving all the signals that he’s going to run in 2016.  I’ve thought and posted that he wouldn’t do it for a number of reasons.  Turns out I might be wrong.  Given his name ID, obvious support among the Bush wing of the GOP, and ability to compete in Florida in a general election, Bush would be a strong candidate.

However, he has some big obstacles to overcome.  First, it’s not like the last President Bush was all that popular at the end of his second term.  In a general election that will definitely be a factor.  Second, he goes against the CPAC crowd on issues including immigration reform and Common Core education standards.  Third, it’s not he is a fresh face and is a little rusty, considering he hasn’t run for anything since 2002 (that’s 12 years kids).

If Bush does just in, if only because of name ID, he’ll jump to the top of the polls.  Can he stay there?

Back for More Crap

James Carville once said running for President is kind of like sex, most people want to do it more than once.  In this spirit, Rick Santorum has decided to get screwed over once again.  The two-term Pennsylvania Republican Senator is going to give it another go in 2016.  Santorum, who shocked the political world by winning the Iowa Caucuses and came with about 2 percentage points in Ohio or Michigan from throwing the 2012 GOP race into chaos, will start out as an underdog.  However, that is where he began last time.

If he is going to be in the mix Santorum will need the support of social conservatives, who were critical to his campaign last time.  Can you get them?  He will certainly have challengers in the form of Cruz, Paul and Huckabee.  One advantage he has is that this isn’t his first rodeo.  Unlike Paul and Cruz, has been through this before so there are no new revelations about him to be unearthed.  If you don’t believe me Google it.

Honestly, Santorum is yesterday’s news who caught the anti-Romney wave in the 2012 primary at just the right time.  This time he won’t have Willard Romney to kick around so I really doubt he’ll get out of single digits in the polls.  He will probably grab the most headlines with his passionate attacks on gay marriage and the GOP becoming more socially moderate.  Surely, he’ll go after any candidate who dears to push the party in that direction.

No Rob Portman Magic

If America was looking for a Republican with a long resume and was part of the Bush administration it missed out on a big opportunity.  Senator Rob Portman has announced he will not run for President.  On paper Portman looked like a strong contender – moderate in demeanor, solid conservative credentials, from the biggest swing state.  His problem is that those are all strengths in a general election.  In a primary he’s a disadvantage because he doesn’t really light a fire under people.

Bush Republicans will have to look elsewhere. Although Portman will definitely resurface as a likely VP choice.