Jeb Bush spent most of the past four years denying that he would run for president ...in 2012. He literally never missed an opportunity to tell anyone who would listen in no uncertain terms that he would not be running, but when asked about 2016 he seems to have a change of tone. He told National Review this morning that he was meeting with a bunch of former staffers and consultants just steps from the White House and didn't directly deny he's mulling the idea of a 2016 run.
According to NRO, Bush assembled a bunch trusted former staffer at the J.W. Marriot Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a short walk from the former home of his dad and brother.
In an interview with NRO, Bush did not rule out a presidential run. "I am here to catch up with folks and promote education reform," he said, smiling.
When asked again whether he will issue a Sherman-type statement about his future, Bush remained coy. "We have an alumni group that I like keeping in touch with," he said. "I'm here to focus on educational reform, and that's what I'm going to tell people."
Neil Newhouse, Mitt Romney's campaign pollster, was at the meeting, as were several veteran Florida operatives.
Matt Drudge immediately ran with the headline "BUSH III" over a picture of The White House this morning, and this little bit of information has turned the heat up on the slow simmer of the idea that Jebbers has his eye on 2016 (a rumor that even predates Mitt Romney's loss).
It may seem like the press is grasping at straws here, but it's telling that guy who made it clear early and often he wouldn't be running in 2012 is now playing coy about the idea of a 2016 run.
Even more telling that he's assembled a bunch of trusted staffers and a pollster in D.C.
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Perhaps the most telling that he openly discussed the meeting to a the website of a popular conservative magazine.
Somewhere Marco Rubio is fidgeting nervously.