Here, prominent conservative author Ramesh Ponnuru takes the looming Jeb Bush presidential campaign to task, arguing the country and his party needs something other than more of the same — especially since the Democratic coronation of another Clinton means the opportunity is ripe for the GOP to capitalize on a “new blood” message. It couldn’t exactly do that if the 2016 ballot featured the exact same last names as the one from 24 years prior.
It’s not just Ponnuru. I have yet to read one column or editorial by any prominent conservative arguing in favor of a Jeb candidacy. (The closest I found was this column by an avowed liberal, and also apparently a big fan of the status quo.) Ted Cruz has his supporters, of course. So does Rand Paul. Even more second-tier options like Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee have their supporters. Who do you know whose last name isn’t also “Bush” that supports a Jeb candidacy?
Trick question: The answer, of course, are a whole lot of people with a whole lot of money that you don’t know. This would be, of course, the Establishment, and I don’t even mean the leadership of the actual Republican Party by that phrase. I mean the very much nonpartisan Establishment that has already set up one of their own on the Democratic ticket, and that is keen to set up another one of their own on the other side as well. This would ensure that either way, the Establishment wins in 2016, and you plebians lose.
Or maybe I’ve talked about this a bit before.
I do hope I’m wrong, and that Ponnuru and other conservative figures can help scare off Jeb from running. As Ponnuru points out, there is not a whole lot of logic — on the surface — in nominating a guy with an unpopular last name who last ran for office 12 years ago when there is a younger, fresher face from the same battleground state, with basically the same views (and vulnerabilities) on immigration and who is currently serving in office. But I fear it is not up to Ponnuru, it is not up to conservatives as a whole and it is only up to a select few people who talk to each other a heck of a whole lot than they talk to you or me or even prominent conservative pundits and media figures. I fear that Ponnuru will be forced to endorse Jeb after he acquires a war chest of Scrooge Mcduck proportions seemingly out of nowhere and steamrolls all his opposition, even Ponnuru’s friend Ted Cruz, making the GOP’s actual primary process as much of a coronation as the other side’s.
But again. I do hope I’m wrong.