Certainly, NBA commissioner Adam Silver acted the most presidential this week. But since we try to focus on actual politicians (some weeks are hard) who have done particularly well, I’ll turn to the 2016 race.
With virtually no effort Jeb Bush has made his presidential candidacy tenable. It’s no longer a pie-in-the-sky idea or a figment of pundits’ imagination. Part of that comes from polling showing the Bush name registers positively with voters, and part can be attributed to the near-certainty among Republicans that Hillary Clinton will be the opponent. A Bush doesn’t seem so odd if there is a Clinton on the other side.
Moreover, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie still a question mark, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) looking disinterested and no other governor breaking out of the pack, Bush is looking more viable to mainstream Republicans, and especially donors who aren’t about to back a freshman senator or a high-risk, little-known governor. (These are risk-averse people worried about eight more years of a Democratic president.) The most interesting part of the New York Times piece suggesting Christie backers would hop over to Bush is that so many were willing to be quoted on the record.
But what about the far right? Well, some loud voices in Beltway-based tea party and talk radio circles don’t like him, but they didn’t like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) or Mitt Romney, and they don’t like a lot of GOP incumbents who are going to keep their Senate seats in 2014. Their opposition is not a reason not to run. And his immigration policy, frankly, is no different than Sen. Rand Paul’s or any of the GOP governors considering a run.
In a very short time Bush has gone from “No way, he’ll run” to “Hey, he might just do it.” And for what they are worth, early 2016 polls show him near the top of the field. As far as the presidential field goes, Bush certainly had the best week. For that we can say, well done, Governor Bush.