I’ve already said this to a few people, and I want to put it out there so I’ll have a record of it in case it actually happens.
I predict that Jeb Bush will be the Republican nominee. Don’t ask me how, because I have no idea. At this point he seems utterly irrelevant, although the Armies of Lindsey Graham pledged this morning to line up behind him. Could a George Pataki endorsement be next?
Basically it’s just guesswork and the process of elimination. As James Pindell of The Boston Globe reminds us today, 65 percent of Republican-leaning poll respondents can’t stand frontrunner Donald Trump. It’s difficult to imagine Ted Cruz winning this, even though Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post considers him the most likely nominee. Richard Nixon supports John Kasich, who has some good qualities, but it’s hard to see that happening.
Chris Christie yells at everyone like the angry bully that he is; where’s the appeal? Rumor has it that Ben Carson is still running, though I have no independent verification of that. And Marco Rubio has dropped the baton that the Republican establishment has handed him maybe four or five times now. Even in a business not noted for its authenticity, Rubio comes across as a transparent phony.
By that logic, it’s Jeb, whose maturity and reasonable demeanor wear well over time, and who is certainly far enough to the right (despite his RINO image) that he should be able to pull together most of the Republican coalition.