Republicans have a problem heading into the 2012 presidential election: They don't like any of their potential candidates. Huckabee, Romney, Palin, Gingrich, Thune, Pawlenty, Barbour and whoever else comes to mind are all losers. It's hard enough to knock off a sitting president, especially one whose poll numbers are on the rise and is, regardless of your opinion of what his "centrist" motives may portend, doing a fine job thus far of establishing himself as Washington's last reasonable man. It's even harder when all of your potential candidates are, again, losers.
Surely there's some Republican on Planet Earth who isn't a total loser, though, and who can beat Barack Obama, right? National Review, the politburo of conservative thought, has pondered this question and circled the debate back to Jeb Bush. The former Florida governor has said ten billion times that he won't run in 2012, although he's open to the idea of running in 2016. But the National Review demands that he run in 2012 anyway! Here's the magazine's editor, Rich Lowry, trying to get a lil' Jebmentum going:
Four years after leaving the Florida governor's mansion, he remains one of the most impressive Republican politicians in the country, a formidable policy mind with the political chops to drive conservative reforms even out of office. So why isn't he running for president?
He lists many reasons for Jeb Bush to run now, instead of in 2016, including the fact that Jeb Bush will be old hat four years down the road, and plenty of GOP rising stars will be ready to run then. He should seize the opportunity to run now, when it would just be him and a bunch of losers fighting for the nomination.
Sure, why not? If voters don't want a third Bush president in general, then their minds probably won't change on that with another four years. But if, as the thinking goes, voters don't want another Bush with the memory of brother George W. Bush's presidency so close in the rear view, they'd get over that. Americans no longer have attention spans, which makes it hard to viscerally reject something out of hand. If Jeb Bush ran and proved to be a good candidate whom people liked, then the superficial "you have to wait another cycle because your name is Bush" stuff wouldn't matter.
[Image via AP]