November 24, 2012

COMETH THE MOMENT, COMETH THE MAN:

Jeb Bush in 2016? Not Too Early for Chatter (JIM RUTENBERG and JEFF ZELENY, 11/23/12, NY Times)

Mr. Bush is said by friends to be weighing financial and family considerations -- between so many years in office and the recession his wealth took a dip, they said, and he has been working hard to restore it -- as well as the complicated place within the Republican Party of the Bush brand. Asked this week about whether his father would run, Jeb Bush Jr. told CNN, "I certainly hope so."

For now, however, "It's neither a 'no' nor a 'yes' -- it's a 'wait and see,' " said Al Cardenas, the chairman of the American Conservative Union and a longtime friend and adviser to Mr. Bush. "It continues to intrigue him, given how much he has to share with the country."

After Mitt Romney's defeat by a Democratic coalition built around overwhelming support from Hispanics and other fast-growing demographic groups, many Republicans are looking for a candidate who can help make the party more inclusive without ceding conservative principles -- and no one is the subject of more speculation at this point than Mr. Bush.

To his supporters, Mr. Bush is the man for the moment. His wife, Columba, was born and raised in Mexico. He speaks Spanish and favors overhauling the immigration system in a way that would provide a route to citizenship for people already in the country illegally but otherwise law-abiding.

Mr. Bush supports school choice and stricter performance standards, pitting him against teachers' unions but putting him in league with Republican power brokers like the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Bush's education project, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, has support from major party donors like the Walton family and the hedge fund executive Paul E. Singer, and has attracted support from the Bloomberg and Gates foundations.

Mr. Bush opposes abortion, and he is no less an opponent of higher taxes than his brother, President George W. Bush, was in his two terms. However, he has refused to sign the antitax pledge of the conservative activist Grover Norquist, who helped lead the rebellion against his father when the elder President Bush broke his own "no new taxes" promise during his first and only term.


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Posted by at November 24, 2012 8:17 AM
  
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