Thursday, March 24, 2016

March 24, 2016--Jeb! for President

Jeb Bush tiptoed through the Florida primary, not saying a word much less endorsing anyone.

Most thought--no surprise.

He was sitting on the presidential sidelines while his erstwhile ingrate mentee, Marco Rubio, though on political life support, was at that time the only one left in the GOP field who had a chance to cut into "low energy" Jeb!-tormentor Donald Trump's overwhelming lead in the Florida polls.

This made psychological as much as political sense--it was asking too much to expect Jeb! to forget and forgive Little Marco. With Rubio all but certain to go down in flames in their home state, did Jeb! want to be associated with more loss. His own political demise was enough for him to bear--the only adult male Bush not to become president.

Think again.

I say that because we shouldn't be fooled by the meaning of Jeb!'s endorsement the other day of Ted Cruz.

This is not about helping Lying Ted win the nomination but about Jeb! Bush's resumed campaign for the presidency. Ambition and political fantasies run deep in the Bush family.

Here's the plan--

Though patrician Bush cannot see Cruz as anything but an interloper in his family's party, right now he is a useful stalking horse.

With Bush and other tattered establishment types coalescing around support for Cruz, it is surely not to help him become the nominee much less president. In truth he is hated more than Donald Trump. Trump is opposed because he's not playing ball in all the old and corrupt ways: he's too much of a loose cannon. He might actually want to do something about "people dying in the street." Thus current support for Cruz is tactical, situational.

The Jeb! plan is to help him get enough delegates to deny Trump a majority and thereby force a brokered convention. And at that point, for the moment, dump him. Thus, the outcome of that brokering will not be a Cruz nomination. It will not be a Kasich nomination. It will not be a Trump nomination. It may though be a Trump riot.

After a few inconclusive ballots, deadlocked and frustrated delegates will turn to someone other than Cruz, Kasich, or Trump.

Who might that be?

We already know Romney is interested (he too has a daddy problem when it comes to presidential ambition) but has had his two chances. We know Paul Ryan is interested--though he demurred that he didn't want to become Speaker and pretend-reluctantly "gave in" only when the distraught party turned to him to save them from themselves--and thus his current coyness fits the pattern of his particular kind of under-the-radar ambition. But he was a flop last time around as Mitt's running mate. Usually one gets to be just one savior in a lifetime.

And now we know Jeb! is interested.

Though Jeb! was a disastrous candidate through South Carolina, he actually could be the best one for the GOP to turn to. Among other things, if he could show some spunk, the big money boys might find their way back to him. And against Hillary, he could win maybe a dozen states and perhaps help Republicans retain control of the Senate.

At the GOP convention, by the fourth ballot the still-contending candidates will be feeling desperate. Some of them, realizing they have no shot at the presidency, begin to shop around to see who might make the best deal. The best deal to satisfy their ambitions.

Rubio has 166 delegates but no future in politics. He is leaving the Senate in January and is an unlikely candidate to become the Florida governor in 2018. We see how much his constituents like him--they voted for Trump in the Florida primary by almost two-to-one.

"How does US attorney general sound to you?" a Jeb! operative will ask a Rubio operative. Sounds good to Rubio. Done deal.

Kasich will have 200-300 delegates and for them he gets Treasure. Secretary of the Treasury.

Then, as Jeb's looks around there is the candidate he endorsed sitting with at least 600 delegates.

He's from Texas, is a Latino, and has all those delegates.

"How does VEEP sound . . .?" That's an easy one.

So at the end of the day, after enough Trump delegates do their ugly thing, we will have Jeb!-Rubio versus Hillary-Julian Castro.

If Mother campaigns with him maybe he could win 15 states. But still not the winning combination.

I think he wouldn't even carry Florida. My mother's old friends, the Ladies of Forest Trace, some of whom were Suffragettes, can't wait to see a woman in the White House. But not as First lady.

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