Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, has been making all the appropriate appearances around the country for a bid at the GOP nomination. His supporters say that he is weighing all of his choices very carefully before getting fully involved. Evidence points to the fact that Jeb Bush is definitely in line to become the next GOP candidate for president in 2016.
Jeb’s formal entrance into the GOP nomination race seems to be desired among Republicans. Brian Ballard, a campaign worker who worked with McCain and Romney, states that Jeb is “the most desired candidate out there.” Ballard then ads, “Everybody that I know is excited about it.”
Most recently, Jeb attended a VIP dinner hosted by Sheldon Adelson. Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, is currently the third richest person in the United States. He has an estimated $26.5 billion in assets, and he supports the Republican Party with campaign donations. He has donated nearly $100 million to GOP campaigns during the past two presidential elections.
The VIP dinner with Sheldon Adelson is generally considered to be a new staple of GOP financing, as Adelson has been known to donate to multiple campaigns. Other GOP hopefuls Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and John Kasich were also present at the dinner.
Jeb spoke about the need for education reform with Adelson at the dinner in Las Vegas, which he styled as “go big or go home.” He also discussed the economic reform of immigration with Adelson. A CNN reporter asked Bush whether or not he was currently seeking the presidency, to which the former governor of Florida responded, “I’m going to ignore that one.” Jeb Bush seems to be in line for the chance to become the next president in 2016, but he is not going to admit it yet.
This does appear to be a good time for Jeb to get his feet wet in the campaign process. Leading GOP hopeful Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been embroiled in the “Bridegate” fiasco, leaving a clear path for Bush to grab the spotlight.
Not everyone seems delighted with the idea of another Bush in the Whitehouse, however. Even Jeb’s mother, Barbara Bush, went on record stating that America should look somewhere else for a new President. She feels that her family should not retain dynastic control of the presidency.
Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor has similar views to those of the former first lady. Grier writes, “It’s not only that his father and brother both served as president. It’s also that he’s been out of electoral politics for some time.” The aversion to another Bush presidency may run deeper in the American public than GOP leaders realize.
Despite negative opinions, Jeb does have unique points in his favor. He is fluent in Spanish, and he also possesses a degree in Latin American Studies. It is therefore possible for him to capture the Hispanic vote. His status as former governor of Florida could also help him capture that state’s significant number of electoral votes. At this point, it seems clear that Jeb Bush is in line seeking to become the next president in 2016. How long he remains in line, and the point at which he chooses to make a formal announcement, remain to be seen. Sally Bradshaw, Jeb’s political counselor, told the Washington Post that “he’ll make a decision by the end of the year.”
By Luke Sargent