When Jeb Bush flew to Utah to meet with Mitt Romney a little over a week ago, I didn’t think Romney would end up bowing out of the race despite Bush’s efforts to persuade him.
But when Romney’s top donors and one of his top advisers defected to Bush, I guess Romney got the message.
Truth be told, the prospect of a yet another Romney bid for the presidency went over like a lead balloon. Whether it was George Will likening Romney to William Jennings Bryan, Debra Saunders calling Romney “a very decent man, but unsatisfying politician” or Peggy Noonan’s cutting composition, “There is no such thing as Romneyism and there never will be,”, there was simply no appetite for another Romney campaign.
Of course, there is general agreement that Romney would have made a better President than Barack Obama had he prevailed in 2012. But this is setting a fairly low mark. There are probably 100 million Americans who would have made a better President than Obama and, frankly, this is a conservative estimate.
While Romney’s absence in 2016 makes life easier for Jeb Bush, I’m not sure there is anymore enthusiasm for him either even if he is gaining Romney’s donors and supporters. But money talks and Bush will be difficult to beat.
That is, unless, Republicans unify behind someone else. I’m not saying “anybody but Bush.” I shudder at the thought of Rand Paul in the White House. Do we really want Al Sharpton advising another President?
But I believe we can do better than Jeb Bush and shouldn’t just settle for him. Let’s go for the best. From where I sit, the best the GOP has to offer in 2016 is Scott Walker.
Think about it. Bush hasn’t fought an election since 2002. Walker has won three elections since 2010. Do Republicans want a candidate at the peak of his powers or a candidate who hasn’t stepped into the ring in a dozen years?
Do Republicans want a candidate who is big and bold or a candidate who is virtually indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton? But let’s say Elizabeth Warren decides to run and upsets Hillary. Do you want a candidate who has taken everything leftists can throw at him and his triumphed or a candidate who has spent the past decade insulated in corporate boardrooms?
Or let me put it this way. Who does the Left hate more? Scott Walker or Jeb Bush?
This isn’t a tough call.