Jeb Bush came out today and, more or less, announced himself as a candidate for the Republican nomination in the upcoming 2016 presidential contest. Nothing could be more boring. But this must have sent a tingle of excitement up the spines of hopeful Republicans pining to win back the presidency. If nothing else this does change the calculus for a number of potential opponents for the nomination. Marco Rubio can probably now take up the yoga classes he’s been postponing, because he’s not going to have a lot to do if Jeb does really run. Chris Christie too has been knocked somewhat off center. The New Jersey “Bridgegate” governor of course always sees himself, in terms of his stature and generalship, in most the most grandiose way as a kind of Alexander the Great. But tactically this can’t be good news for a nascent Christie campaign. Admittedly it’s hard to completely eclipse someone as big as the New Jersey governor, but a Bush candidacy does somewhat put him in the shadows at least as a presidential aspirant, and thankfully so.
For the rest of the goof balls all loading into the Republican “clown car” not much has changed. Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul, plus probably Scott Walker and John Kasich, and let’s not forget Ted Cruz — all have had their decorators working overtime on how to re-style the Oval Office, but none of these wanna-be presidents has the stature or the public following to win a national election. And with Jeb in the race as the establishment candidate they’ll never be able to raise the kind of money that’s going to be needed to defeat Hillary if she finally announces she’s running. The upcoming Republican primary will be a fun to watch — the usual clown show — but a tormenting distraction for Republicans serious about taking back the Oval Office.
This does however leave one prominent Republican all alone and standing at the altar. Mitt Romney has been all dressed-up, with flowers in hand, waiting for the ceremonial nuptials that would see him wedded (anointed), in the classical Republican tradition to the establishment wing of the party as the only viable Republican candidate in the next presidential election. He has been — not so quietly — waiting in the wings (looking and acting for all the world like a candidate), expecting to be finally called to action when the Republican “clown car” eventually crashes and burns. But with Jeb possibly throwing his hat into the ring, it’s a little too early to publish the banns of a Romney marriage with the Republican establishment, and certainly too early to get out the rice.
Republican party officials though would probably be loath to risk a divisive mud-slinging primary run-off between their two principle moderate candidates, so one is going to have to finally emerge triumphant. Jeb would come into a national election with a lot of baggage — an unpopular (at least as far as the right-wing wackos are concerned) position on immigration, his “common core” stance on education and questionable private equity business background (Romney problem?) and strong ties to Wall Street. No doubt it’s nice to be courted to run by a cadre of hopeful supporters, but I think Jeb is greatly over-estimating his appeal with the broader electorate, and underestimating (by a considerable measure) the firestorm from the left and the challenges from the right that will inevitably greet his formal candidacy. Bush will no doubt have plenty of supporters, and access to some of the biggest and most important Republican donors, but an endorsement by George W would not necessarily provide a big boost and be a real deal-maker with the American electorate.. Romney now is a known quantity and could probably run a better campaign. The question will be — do the American voters want another Bush presidency? Another war hawk in the Oval Office? More Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans? Increased defense spending, chronic deficits and economic stagnation? W’s legacy to America. We’ll have to wait and see. My bet is Bush will withdraw, citing family considerations, and Romney will ultimately prevail — that, after all, is what most establishment Republicans want (and expect) to see happen. When the candidate is finally chosen, Republicans will dutifully fall in line — as they always do — no matter how ill-fated or unjust the cause.
Mitt truly believes that it is his destiny to be president — to run the whole world according to solid, free-market principles, with his wife Ann faithfully at his side, dictating and setting the tone for a new Republican Camelot. This should make any liberal, any real American, sick to their stomach. Money will decide the next election for president. And a recent change in the campaign finance law (post the recent election) allows wealthy donors to anonymously contribute more than ten times the previous limit. The take away — democracy in America is a commodity, to be freely bought and sold by the highest bidder.
The next election will be decided by money. The Democrats have no cohesive message. They don’t even know what they stand for anymore. All they have going forward is the tattered banner of a failed and deeply compromised president. For the average American who gets up every morning and goes to work, there are no good choices. Mitt Romney will be elected president, Wall Street and the moneyed elites in the country will set the agenda and that will be the end of freedom, justice and equality in America. Welcome to the new Republican corptocracy. So pop the popcorn, get out the inaugural bunting and start polishing your old Romney buttons.
The Money Trader