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?

Everyone is Going to Freak Out

Every prominent Republican thinking about running for President is going to collectively freak out tonight the moment after President Obama finishes speaking tonight.  Granted many of them, Ted Cruz, have already started stoking the fires so after it’s announced this will only get worse.

Look for what Steve King and Joni Ernst of Iowa says about the President’s actions. Given their position in the big caucus state every Republican will try to cozy up to them.

The Ghost of Eric Cantor

Many in the GOP are complaining about President Obama’s upcoming executive order on immigration.  Some in the party are saying the President should give them a chance to pass their own version of immigration.  If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

The GOP Congress will not pass immigration reform now, in 6 weeks, in 6 months, or in 6 years.  Why?  Two words for you.  Eric Cantor.

If the House Majority Leader can lose a primary to an unknown over this issue, you can bet your house and ass that no one in the party wants to take this issue up for fear of losing in a primary 18 months from now.   If it can happen to Cantor they all fear it will happen to them.

The GOP leadership is going to complain about Obama acting unilaterally.  Maybe the should direct their complaints at their base who remain the biggest obstacle to this needed reform.

The Suspense Is Killing Me, Well Maybe Not

Marco Rubio has said he’ll make a decision about whether to run for President and announce it in a few weeks.  The January announcement is a coin flip.

Let’s remember that under Florida law Rubio can’t be on the ballot for President and Senate.  While he can back out of the Presidential race and run for Senate up to winter 2016, given that Florida is a swing state and the Democrats will try to get a top-tier challenger either way (i.e. NOT Debbie Wasserman Schultz) and he might face primary challenge, Rubio really can’t have it both ways for too long.

So what will he do? Two years ago this was a no-brainer.  Rubio was seen as the party’s future, dubbed the “RJ III of American Politics” by GOP pollster Whit Ayers, and riding high in the polls.  Since his support for immigration reform, and then trying flip flop against it, Rubio’s standing in the polls with primary voters has dropped.  If he does run Rubio will start in the middle of the pack behind Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and Jeb Bush.  He’s kind of in political no-man’s land.  Rubio is not the favorite of the Bush Republicans nor is he the darling of the Tea Party.

As I mentioned, it’s not a slam dunk that Rubio will get re-elected if he focuses only on the Senate.  In a presidential year, without a Tea Party wave, higher turnout and top-notch challenger, Rubio could lose.  Some polls show his unfavorable rating has risen.

But what if Rubio doesn’t run for the White House in 2016?  Might he miss his one chance?  If the GOP wins in 2016 and Rubio is re-elected, the Senator will have to wait until 2024 to run again.  In politics 9 years is a lifetime and Rubio will no longer be the fresh face (9 more years in the Senate takes away that newness) and will have to go through another re-election fight in 2022.

Of course if Rubio runs for the White House and doesn’t win that’ll likely be the end of his political career.  Decisions, decisions for Rubio.  The suspense isn’t killing me but it might be doing a number of the Florida Senator.

No Action Until 2017

The latest legislative shenanigans prove that nothing will happen on immigration until 2017.   If they can’t even pass a bill to deal with this supposed crisis how are the Republicans ever going to get anything more meaningful in place?

Look for that percentage of the Latino vote to continue to drop.  So in 2016 not only will more Latinos than ever be voting but a smaller percentage than ever will be voting for the GOP.  Good job guys.

Adios Immigration Reform

Let’s start with the obvious, the defeat of Eric Cantor killed immigration reform until the Democrats retake the House of Representatives.  Don’t give me this stuff about a big Democratic victory in 2016 will push the GOP to finally address the issue.

It’s nonsense.

If the Democrats win big in 2016 but the GOP retains the House of Representatives what does that mean?  It means that those members represent district that are almost immune to the national political trends and something different is keeping them in office.   What could that be?

I am sure there are many socio-economic-demographic factors for this and of course there is gerrymandering.  If your district is drawn in such a convoluted way as to guarantee GOP representation regardless of what happens nationally (remember in 2012 on the Congressional level Democrats got a million more votes than the GOP and still couldn’t retake the House) than a members only incentive is to keep the GOP primary voting base happy, because the general election is usually a formality in these districts.

It is pretty clear after Tuesday night how the GOP base feels about immigration reform.  Isn’t it?