February 5, 2014
FILLING THE JEB-SHAPED HOLE:
It's over: Jeb Bush will be the GOP nominee in 2016 (Damon Linker, 2/05/14, The Week)
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 5, 2014 6:32 PM[I]t's beginning to dawn on me that Jeb Bush is probably going to be the Republican Party's nominee for president in 2016.Consider: With the ongoing implosion of Chris Christie's political career, the GOP establishment has lost its best hope for a candidate who could stop a libertarian-populist insurgency during the primaries. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker -- the list of viable fire-breathers is longer (and less dominated by incompetents, crazies, and one-note sideshow acts) than establishment types would like.What are the alternatives?There's Paul Ryan. Thanks to Mitt Romney, he has a national profile, along with dreamy blue eyes and an (undeserved) reputation as an intellectually serious policy wonk. Okay, that's something. But he also has a voting record (including a series of high-profile "roadmaps") demonstrating open hostility to Medicare, which even Tea Partiers adore. A Ryan nomination would be a dream come true for Hillary Clinton.Then there's Marco Rubio, poster boy for immigration reform. That endeared him to the GOP establishment, which desperately wants to improve the party's standing with Latinos. But it's likely rendered him radioactive among the right-wing activists who increasingly control Republican money and the power.Who else? Bobby Jindal? Give me a break. Rick Santorum? Yeah, right. Next you'll be suggesting Jon "One Delegate" Huntsman.