Are we doomed to Bush v. Clinton? I’ve consulted the stars, and they say …

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I keep seeing suggestions that the 2016 presidential field has already been set, that we are doomed to a classic clash of the dynasties between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, a rematch of sorts from the initial Bush vs. Clinton bout of 24 years ago.

Me? I’m not buying it. And I’ve asked Cher to express that a bit more forcefully:

Let’s talk about the Democrats first. If her fellow party members are looking at Hillary Clinton with some doubt and trepidation at the moment, well, they probably should. Everybody knew going into this race that a high level of drama could be expected in any Clinton endeavor, and this time has already proved no different. Missing emails, half-million-dollar speaking fees, an imperious attitude toward the press. We’ve all seen this movie before, and it goes something like this:

But look, absent some earth-shaking development, Clinton will be the Democratic candidate. Bumpy night or not, no little understudy is going to be allowed to steal her starring role this time. Unlike Barack Obama in ’08, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley pose no threat and in fact are doing Clinton a major favor with their candidacies. They will force her to hone her sales pitch and prepare for debates, and for a while will also make her look like something other than what she is, which is the party’s pre-ordained selection.

It’s the other side of the fight card that causes me doubt.

I’m not by any means saying that Jeb can’t win the GOP nod. He can. I’m saying that he’s far from inevitable, that he’s not even the favorite, and that he’s one of a group of three, maybe four people who could win it. And a major part of the reason I say that is the mood of the GOP base:

After eight years of frustration at the hands of Barack Obama, they ARE mad as hell. They don’t want to take it any more, and they’re searching for a nominee who will vent that anger and frustration on their behalf. And while Bush has his strengths, he just isn’t that man and that isn’t his style. It was bad enough watching Romney trying to be something he wasn’t; watching Bush try to be an attack dog would be like watching five-foot-six Tom Cruise trying to play six-foot-five Jack Reacher.

The counter to that argument is of course history. Cycle after cycle, Republican primary voters flirt early and often with the bad boys, the tough talkers, the flingers of red meat. But in the end, they always end up marrying the mama’s boy, the establishment’s designated “safe pick”. Last time Mitt Romney was the mama’s boy. Before that it was John McCain, George W., Bob Dole, George H.W. …

And this year, of course, it’s Jeb.

But let’s take a closer look back at the 2012 race. That year, Republican primary voters also really really really wanted someone other than Romney as their nominee. That was the underlying story line throughout that whole, long, drawn-out process. The base was so desperate for a red-meat anti-Romney that the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and even Herman Cain had their days as frontrunner, until each of them collapsed under the weight of their own implausibility.

Yes, in the end, Republicans did accept Romney. But they did so only because the significant anti-Romney sentiment had no one credible to rally around. Their anguish was almost palpable:

They had nowhere else to go. This time they do. In addition to Bush, they have Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and maybe John Kasich. Each has weaknesses; each could falter in the long marathon ahead. But for the moment at least, each is a plausible major-party candidate. Each could be an alternative to a third Bush, a Bush who challenges the party line on immigration, on Common Core, a Bush who brings back memories that many in the party don’t appreciate. Each could become the anti-Bush, while with Romney there was no alternative.

Process is also part of my doubt. In 2012, the drawn-out nominating process clearly favored Romney.  He alone had the money and the organization to sustain himself through the death march toward the convention.  Over time, he ploddingly wore down his opponents, and he also wore down those elements in the GOP base that had initially wanted to reject him.

Bush will have a similar money advantage. Even before announcing his candidacy, he is tapping donors and building a supposedly “independent” SuperPAC that already boasts a $100 million warchest. He hasn’t been in the least bit shy about working the phones, calling people up, asking for help.

This time, though, the nominating process has been truncated by GOP officials, with the goal of having a nominee selected long before the July convention. Among other things, the shorter race makes Bush’s money advantage a little less intimidating. His top rivals should have sufficient funds to stay afloat through that process. And as lesser candidates drop out, I’m guessing that Bush won’t be their supporters’ second choice.

The emergence of the so-called SEC primary, with Georgia and six other Southern states all holding their primaries on March 1, 2016, also complicates matters.

As Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp put it, “It is now clear that the road to the White House runs through the South.” And I’m not sure the deeply conservative South is where Bush would make his stand, given the choice.

Nonetheless, in the critical two weeks between Feb. 23 and March 8, 11 southern states are scheduled to hold primaries. In some ways, that geographically scattered, chronologically compressed schedule favors somebody like Bush, who will have the money to be up with campaign ads in every state. But it’s ideologically dangerous terrain, and it raises the odds of a candidate catching fire quickly — perhaps off a great debate performance — and seizing momentum that can’t be stopped.

And you know what happens next:

 

Reader Comments 0

886 comments
JoelEdge
JoelEdge

"It’s the other side of the fight card that causes me doubt."

Of course. You have an amazing talent for not seeing the flaws in Democrats.

JKLtwo
JKLtwo

Jay - for a while will also make her look like something other than what she is


Demwits luvs them sum liars!

Fly your "Gruber certified stupid" flag high!

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

"I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying,” she told Kelly. “I’m like, ‘That is so overboard and a lie really.’ I mean people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims.”

But, the libs got what they wanted out of it, girls.  Sorry that you had to be their collateral damage.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@DownInAlbany "calling him a child molester "


"But, the libs got what they wanted out of it, girls."


You know, the term "child molester" probably has a legal definition in Arkansas, so whether that young lady thinks he deserves the sobriquet or not is likely beside the point.


gotalife
gotalife

Some judges will die or retire so Hillary has won the sc judge argument.

gotalife
gotalife

 "Hillary Clinton made one of the most important remarks of her campaign so far: "We need a Supreme Court who cares more about the right to vote of a person than the right to buy an election of a corporation."


Also said we need judges to overturn citizen united.

gotalife
gotalife

Good Samaritans Offer Homes, Cars And Kitchens In Cruise Ship Disaster Town


These are the kind of human beings we should worship.


Not pols, media, Kardasians or the wealthy.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

It's getting bad when tabloid news is more interesting than Jay's topics.Whew!


On edit:Most of Jay's topics are basically tabloid news.LOL

gotalife
gotalife

@SFM_Scootter @gotalife  Media was told about hatert in 2006 and refused to report it. They tried to cover up the duggar scandal but was busted and police released the report. Tabloids have more crediblity than our media. TMZ has better coverage than media. Hillary will address it.

gotalife
gotalife

@SFM_Scootter  It is tabloid news because our media help perverts like hastert and the duggars.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@SFM_Scootter
tabloid news is more interesting than Jay's topics

it's not--it's mostly just gota and td1234 screeching at one another at this point.

gotalife
gotalife

Family values is the biggest joke the rw ever spewed.


Clean up your perverted party cons.


That will keep you busy.

td1234
td1234

@gotalife We all sin and fall short of the glory of God everyday. The difference is those that approve of sin and those that try to not sin. 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @gotalife " We all sin"


Nope.


A religion's concept of sin only applies to its own adherents.


When I work on a Saturday, I'm not sinning against Judaism, because I'm not Jewish.


When I eat pork, I'm not sinning against Islam, because I'm not Muslim.


And when I (whatever), I'm not sinning against Christianity, because I'm not Christian.


Your notion of sin is between you and whatever you imagine your deity to be.


gotalife
gotalife

Send in the FBI to investigate the duggar and hastert huge scandals.


Media should cover it every single day for years.


Just like they did with President Clinton.

fedup52
fedup52

@gotalife Using FBI is a waste of tax payer's money.  Just throw them in Gitmo and forget about them.

gotalife
gotalife

The President will try to close gitmo. This President did exactly what he said he would do and that is a great precedent for future Presidents.


Since the gop refuse to resign after sex scandals, if they get busted in a lie they should be forced to resign.


Enough with the ignorant lies from the gop and their media.

td1234
td1234

Where is the progressives outrage that the report on the Duggar's was even released? Those poor victim girls now have to be traumatized all over again, because some progressive forced a city cop to break the law and release a sealed report, all for the purposes of a hit piece. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@td1234 But, the parents got humiliated and exposed for being frauds.

That's all that matters to the compassionate left.

fedup52
fedup52

@td1234 Were you sympathetic towards Chelsea when her father was dragged through the mud?

td1234
td1234

@consumedconsumer NO it was not. A Judge just said yesterday that it was released illegally and wrote an order for the city to DESTROY any copies they have. 

td1234
td1234

@fedup52 Was Chelsea molested by BIll? I did not think so, so your statement is stupid. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @td1234

Most of the criticism from the left that I've read was a justifiable rehash of all the nasty things that the Duggars have said about gays, and how willing they'd been to link homosexuality to pedophilia.

Ya reap what ya sow.

td1234
td1234

@DownInAlbany There "compassion" is only available to their own political ideology. The h3ll with little girls and the h3ll with any woman that comes out with an allegation against one of their elected officials. 

fedup52
fedup52

@DownInAlbany @td1234 He is a Republican.  You guys don't show any compassion towards the progs.  Turn around is fair play.

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex So that gives them a right to violate the privacy of little girls and to traumatize them all over again because they want to discredit a critic ? 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt Third graf in the story, coming right after what TeeDee posted for us, says:


Lewis also told the AP that these types of records are usually kept indefinitely.


Hmm.


td1234
td1234

@fedup52 And here is all the evidence one needs to know why Hillary will be the nominee for the Democratic party next year. As long as our ideology is "progressed" we do not care about how it is done. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @Visual_Cortex @td1234

You guys.

The Duggars dug this one; their mishandling is well documented.

As for the daughters, more than a few on the left have pointed out how much more concerned the Duggars were for their precious, troubled son and how they "prayed on him," and how little they seemed to even mention their girls, at first.

fedup52
fedup52

@td1234 @fedup52 You bet.  You guys ramming down the prog's throat when time comes we will ram it down yours.

I show compassion to who need it not the people who are trying to hurt me.

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex So in other words you are OK with the sealed report being released. Got it

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@fedup52 @td1234 

I show compassion to who need it not the people who are trying to hurt me.

File this under: those things that momma taught me while bouncing me on her knee.

td1234
td1234

@fedup52 The judge probably did not want an underacted copy to be leaked to the media since it is obvious the people that released it wither was to incompetent to hold sealed information or like fedup52 and wants to win at any cost.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@td1234 @Visual_Cortex

Are you ok with their having linked homosexuality to pedophilia?

You know, the actual bone of contention that I actually had with them?


td1234
td1234

@Tuna Meowt With that little comment by "Lewis" it appears he released the document intentionally for political motivations and did not care about those little girls. Typical progressive.  

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex That is a political matter. It appears you are find with ruining 4 little girls lives and making them suffer to help make your political agenda easier.