Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jeb's Declaration Will Yield Three-Way Presidential Race

Javier Menjarre's post, on "Shark Tank," hinted the probable: Jeb Bush is leaning toward a Presidential run.

Are we surprised? Not really. The Republican Estblishment, not to mention Wall Street, wants this. Jeb Bush is a guy they trust. And, he has a near perfect resume. Beginning with a successful two-term Governship and a Mexican wife. His Spanish, by the way, is flawless!

It gets better! Jeb is a resident of Florida, a "must win" state for Republicans. Career politician? Try "Career Banker." Most of Jeb Bush's adult life has been spent in the banking industry, beginning in his mid-twenties. Another "inside the beltway" guy? Nope! Jeb's actually a native Texan and a graduate of U.T.-Austin. Today, he is a comfortable Miamian, enjoying his grandchildren.

With such credentials, why would the Republicans want to look elsewhere? People in the Hillary camp are ruefully acknowledging that Jeb would be "difficult to beat" in his home state. In Karl Rove's thinking, "what more" could Republicans want in a nominee?

Evidently a lot more!

Two areas of concern for Bush: "Amnesty" and "Common Core." To the Republican base, these two issues are potential deal breakers. Hence, a clear opening for a challenger.

Speaking of challengers, it's a mathematical certainty that the field will shrink when Jeb announces. Marco Rubio will definitely not run. Chris Christie will almost certainly pass. Scott Walker and Mike Pence won't get in. Ditto for Mitt Ronney, assuming that he ever seriously entertained such a notion. I can't imagine Rick Santorum doing anything but supporting Jeb Bush.

Which leaves Rand Paul and Rick Perry. Both probably will run. And, assuming that they do, strike Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Dr. Ben Carson; for different reasons.

We now have a three-man race.

We know who the Republican Establishment prefers. The question is "who" is second choice?"

We know(or think we know) who the Tea Party prefers."Who is second choice?"

We know(or think we know) who the Evangelicals(religious right) prefer. "Who" is second choice?

We know(or think we know) who the Energy sector would prefer. "Who" is second choice?

We know(or think we know) who the Defense contractors would prefer. "Who," is second choice?

We know(or think we know) who the Conservative base would prefer. "Who" is second choice?

Keep in mind that we are only talking about registered Republican voters. Independent voters and their preferences are another subject for a different post. The current question is "which" of the three expected candidates will not be a third choice with Republicans on any of these questions?

We already know that Jeb Bush will be third choice with the Tea Party. Most Tea Party Republicans are part of the Conservative base. However, this is not necessarily visa-versa! What is certain is that the base vehemently opposes both amnesty and Common Core.

We know that the Republican Establishment is wary of Rand Paul's candidacy. It has been suggested that a lot of these "Republicans" would opt for Hillary Clinton over Kentucky's Junior Senator. So, we can write "number three" by Paul's name here.

Evangelicals? A key to a Republican general election victory is getting these voters to the polls. Remember Perry's "day of prayer" held in August 2012? Jeb Bush has done well with these voters. Both Bush and Perry are "pro-life." Both see marriage as a "union between a man and woman only." Paul? Hasn't really been on his radar, although he is a strict contructionist, where religious freedom is concerned. Unfortunately, this may be a little short. Another "three" for Paul.

Energy sector preference? Perry is from a large energy state. But the energy sector has ties to the Bush camp. Perhaps a tie. But wait! Does not Texas have a number of lawsuits against the E.P.A. in progress currently? Oil and Gas companies see Perry as a "friend who won't back down." While they may be okay with Bush, assertive is better. Paul? Pretty much unknown! He might be a closet "greenie" for all they know! His opposition to voter I.D. cards was a shock! Is he capable of pulling a similar "surprise!" Any way you cut it, I see another "three."

Unlike both Paul and Bush, Perry has military experience. Not just homeside duty, like "Dubya" had. Real, combat experience. "Captain Perry" flew C-130's in his five-year Air Force tour! Russians describe the Texas Governor as "a cowboy with deep understanding of military affairs." Defense contractors trust both Perry and Bush. Rand, like Ron is thought to be an isolationist. He has even been referred to as "a dove." With Democrats and Independents, this might be an asset. With the Repubican base, both Establishment and Tea Party, it yields another "three."

Education will be the signature debate during the Republican primary. Perry and Bush have vastly different ideas on the subject. Bush supported "No Child Left Behind."(his brother's creation) Perry thought the program was a federal overreach. While both favor Charter schools, Perry opposes "Common Core." Bush supports it. Overall, both Perry and Bush have successful report cards. Paul opposes "Common Core" and is agreement with Perry that the Education Department should be abolished. But, unlike Bush and Perry, he has never been Chief Executive of a large, diverse state. Sorry Rand! But the "threes" are mounting! However, Jeb's support for "Common Core" might move you into the "two" slot here!

Immigration will be another hot topic for debate. Perry occupies the center position on this question. Jeb has angered conservatives with his talk of "compassion." Like his brother, he favors amnesty. Perry talks about the need for "boots on the ground," as the only guarantee of securing the borders. He has shown moderation for illegals in the country through no fault of their own. Paul's position is fairly close to Tom Tancredo's.

Jeb Bush will tout a solid environmental record. But Perry's is equally impressive. Expect both Texas' and Florida's report cards to come into focus. Paul? Nothing to compare. Ah, the advantages of "Executive" experience!

In short, this "three-way race" could and probably should be a two-way race. A Perry-Bush matchup would pit two experienced Governors of large diverse states. Paul will likely pull voters from Perry! This is the biggest concern for Republicans not wanting Jeb Bush as the nominee.

The good news for Perry is that he has "no threes." The Establishment will support him. Wall Street sees him as "pro business." The Tea Party will mobilize behind him. Evangelicals will turn out for him.

While Evangelicals might do the same for Bush, it's highly possible that the Tea Party will not. Herein lies the problem for Jeb Bush and Republicans wanting to merely "slow down" and not "derail" advancing Socialism and Americas' participation in the "New World Order."(George H.W. Bush's words) The Republican base wants fundamental change. The Bushes historic embrace of big government appears at odds with this objective.

Where Bush would "tweak and attempt to perfect" the existing structure, Perry would strive to reform it. This is what conservatives seek. The key will be to recognize the stakes early. While Rand Paul excites many, the practicality of his nomination remains debious.

The 2016 Republican nominee can be chosen by the base. But only, if they unite. Getting lost in the weeds over sidebar issues such as "Autobahns, Bilderberg Breakfasts, tuition tax waivers and vaccines that were never implemented" will insure Jeb Bush's nomination.

Conservatives must insist that the failed theory of "nominating the moderate" cannot be repeated. Expect Neo-Con warnings from the likes of Bill Kristol and Karl Rove, urging the base to play "small ball." Equally anticipated are the "friends" at Fox News who will predictably "shill" for Bush.

In short, 2016 may be America's last chance to right the ship. Winning the election, while important, isn't enough. During the first half of the previous century, the American train took what seemed at the time, a benign detour.

It will take a statesman of the magnitude of Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln to return the train to it's original track. Based on personal history and on the job performance, Rick Perry looks to be the only American capable of filling the bill.

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