The GOP has a pretty simple candidate field. Will it be Mitt Romney (again) or Jeb Bush in 2016? While neither has formally declared, both are considered likely to announce. It’s likely that the GOP will fall inline behind Bush, if he announces.
Just last week, former president George W. Bush said that Jeb is “weighing his options.”
Mike Halperin, at Bloomberg politics, makes the case that Jeb is likely the one candidate in the GOP’s inventory who can easily rally the deep-pocket backers:
Despite a near-total lack of spadework in the early states and among activists and bundlers, Bush could line up a team of campaign staffers, policy experts and finance mavens at a moment’s notice. More to the point, he doesn’t have much ground to make up. One long-time senior Republican official says of the other prospects, “None of them has done shit” to build an organization so far. “Bush will have the band put together in a day. He is the most prepared from an infrastructure point of view by light-years.” Unlike his competitors, Bush could lure donors off the fence in a hurry, without undergoing a hazing trial to test skill and stability. The train would fire up and chug away from the station at the git-go.”
There’s a problem though. While Jeb may be GOP money’s prime candidate, he may be well out of practice and the voters mostly resent him as Jim Newell, despite his distate for Halperin, points out:
Republican voters, who have to vote in their presumed nominee through a primary process, are either indifferent or openly hostile to Jeb Bush. And Jeb Bush hasn’t run a campaign since 2002, when online political media was basically just Matt Drudge and Andrew Sullivan posting war links. If there’s any half-notable Republican candidate who’s due for a “hazing trial to test skill and stability” before big-dollar investments are made, it’s Jeb Bush. But donors follow this weirdly meta logic that Jeb Bush get their funds because Jeb Bush is good at fundraising. Is he good at campaigning? Is he good at convincing Republican primary voters? Will they not want him because of his terrible brother? Will he find some way to ditch or, um, “deemphasize” his positions on education and immigration reform without anyone noticing? These are serious and glaringly obvious questions about Jeb Bush’s political talents.
So there is some light at the end of the Right-wing tunnel. If the GOP sinks their money into Jeb Bush prematurely, he may be a terrible flop on the campaign trail.