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?


CPAC – the Ticket to the White House

Congratulations to Rand Paul on winning the CPAC Straw Poll.  He repeated as champion.  I am sure this will guarantee he has the same electoral success as past winners.  Did I mention past winners include Gary Bauer, RonPaulSteve Forbes, Jack Kemp, George Allen and Rudy Giuliani?  Between them they won TWO states in Presidential primaries.

Just something to keep in mind as the political world lavishes praise on Paul.  It also helps Paul that 94% of the libertarians in America live in the DC area, so this kind of a home game for him.

#Boycott Coke – Sister Souljah Moment

If a Republican candidate is looking for a way to stand up to some segments of their party and show moderate voters the party is moving in their direction, they should attack the #boycottcoke people.  Apparently some people are flipping out that Coke had an ad during last night’s Super Bowl that had America the Beautiful being song in a number of different languages while a diverse montage with shown.

This is pure stupidity.  It’s an ad.  And it does reflect how diverse the country is becoming.  A Republican politician who denounces that ad will show they get the country is changing and they are not afraid to lead in this more diverse environment.

Will any?  Guess we’ll see how has the guts to take a big risk and get a big reward.

Dates to Keep an Eye On

Here are some big political dates coming up in 2014:

January 28 – State of the Union:  Keep an eye on not only what Obama says but who offers the GOP rebuttal.  The rebuttal can be a political kiss of death so who turns it down is just as important as who gives it.

March 6-8 – CPAC: This is the right’s big annual political trade show.  Look to see who speaks on the first date, that is normally when the top tier candidates go first. Also, who will give the headline speech.   Lastly, how is Christie treated by the crowd.  Lastly, who wins the straw poll.  The winner of that will be the conservative frontrunner for a while. Those will tell you the state of play in the GOP race

May 20 – Kentucky Primary:  Will Mitch McConnell survive?  Remember that this point in 2010 and 2012, Most in D.C. think he will. Most of them thought Mike Castle was a shoo-in for Delaware and that Dick Lugar would never lose a primary. Tea party candidates surge late so don’t count Bevin out.

November 4 – Election Day:  The GOP has a great shot to retake the Senate but the party’s celebration could be toned down by potential losses in the Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin governor’s races.

CPAC Crowd Demands House Defund Obamacare

Basically every group that attends CPAC, minus the NRA and National Right to Work, has signed a letter demanding the House GOP defund Obamacare as part of the upcoming budget fight.  Considering how weak of a Speaker John Boehner is I think it’s 50/50 that he goes through with it.

This could be Marco Rubio’s chances to get back in the Tea Party/grassroots activists good graces.  Of course, it could also means he takes a great deal of blame if they go through with this and force a government shut down.

You know Red Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are going to banging the drum on this as much as possible.  Look for more confrontations between Cruz and any one of 65 Senators.

Who do you stand with

Guess who’s back? Back again.  Culture wars are back.  Tell a friend.

That’s right the culture wars are back in full bloom.  The two sides of the war are being epitomized by who people stand with.

In March, Rand Paul delivered his filibuster of the Obama administration’s drone program. While it may have started with some libertarian notions by the end it deteriorated into a full blown Obama-bash with Cruz, Rubio, John Cornyn and even Mitch McConnell joining in the fun.  This Tea Party love fest spilled over into social media and CPAC where “Stand With Rand” became a rallying cry.

Contrasted with this is last night’s filibuster by Senator Wendy R. Davis.  She had to speak for 13 straight hours to stop a Texas anti-abortion bill:

Yes #StandwithWendy is now a twitter hashtag.

Of course you can throw in the recent battles over gun control, the continuing fight over immigration, and Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act and it’s ruling on gay marriage (which comes out today at 10:00 am) and what you see are the two sides, those who stand with Rand or with Wendy, already going at it.

Now of course not everyone who stands with Wendy or Rand agrees with their side on every issue but in the broad general sense, the way most political labels are given out, if you stand with Rand you are on the conservative side and if you’re with Wendy you’re on the liberal side.

If you want a test run of how this will play out look no further than the races in Virginia this year.

The interesting question is how far will Republican candidates be willing to buck their side on the culture wars.  My guess is that no one serious about winning the nomination will be.