This fall's presidential race was the first since 1976 where neither a Bush nor a Clinton took part as a candidate, running mate, or primary contender. But by the looks of things there's a good possibility we'll see a Bush (not to mention a Clinton) contending in 2016. The New York Times this morning revved up the speculation that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is mulling over the possibility of throwing his hat in the ring in 2016, but there are a few potential roadblocks standing in his way.
"It's neither a 'no' nor a 'yes' -- it's a 'wait and see,' " Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a longtime Bush friend and Miami political power player told the newspaper. "It continues to intrigue him, given how much he has to share with the country."
While Bush spent the better part of the past four years claiming he wouldn't run for president in 2012, he left the door wide open for 2016. Several sources seem to indicate to the Times that a run is certainly still very much on the table, and even his son Jeb Bush Jr. has publicly stated that he hopes his dad runs.
Bush remains popular in conservative circles, but isn't afraid to show the kind of confidence and leadership to stray from his base on issues that could make him appealing to other voters. He's long held a more moderate stance on immigration reform than others in his party.
Of course, there are a few potential road blocks:
1. Tea Party Prince Marco Rubio
"A decision by Mr. Bush, 59, to seek the Republican nomination would almost certainly halt any plans by Mr. Rubio, 41, to do so or abruptly set off a new intraparty feud," writes the Times. Rubio appears to also be mulling a run, and recently has popped up in Iowa. Bush however is one of Rubio's political mentors, and considering they're both from Florida and are personal friends it would be odd to see both run. Though, some members of the Bush family have shown they're not afraid to take shots at Rubio. Jeb Bush Jr. recently called Rubio's remarks that he's not sure about the age of the Earth "head scratching."
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2. Less Money, Mo' Problems
Apparently Bush's personal finances took a dive during the recession. We guess that's what happens when one of your big post-gubernatorial jobs was as a consultant to Lehman Brothers. Bush wants to make sure his personal bank account is shored up before he runs for Prez (then again, that would be a nice change for the Republicans from Romney's uncle moneybags image). Come on dude, surely you can get a hefty book deal or something?
In case you've forgotten, Jeb's brother George W. Bush left office as one of the most unpopular presidents in history. Republicans also haven't had a non-Bush president since Reagan. There's some worry that the party, and the country as a whole, could just be Bushed out. Then again, this is a country where we've all just basically assumed and accepted it's going to Jeb vs. Hillary in 2016, so maybe not.
4. The Fourth Bush Generation
Bush is also worried about how a run would affect his family, and not in the way most politicians normally do. Both his sons are said to be eyeing political careers. George P. is laying the groundwork for a run for office in Texas, and Jeb Jr. is rumored as a potential candidate for something one day right here in Florida. Papa Jeb apparently doesn't want to overshadow them. Though, there's no words on Noelle's political prospects.