According to the New York Times, Jeb Bush is considering a run for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016. He is in the midst of determining whether personal and financial considerations preclude him from entering the race. Currently, Bush runs a consulting business and an educational foundation.
There are a number of plusses and minuses for Bush to consider:
On the positive side:
• His wife, Columba, was born and raised in Mexico. He has also long supported some type of amnesty for people who entered the nation illegally but have not otherwise violated our laws. So, he would be likely to stem the tide of Hispanics to the Democrats.
• He opposes raising taxes.
• He has long been associated with a more compassionate brand of conservatism than was found in this year’s crop of Republican candidates.
• He has been personally involved with education, which is a particularly difficult problem to solve.
• He remains highly popular in Florida, where he was Governor, obviously an important state for the GOP.
• He is much more likable than Romney, and relates more to normal people than Mitt was capable.
On the negative side:
• His last name. The Bush brand is still tarnished by his brother’s tenure in office. It’s easy to imagine an ad campaign that the Democrats will mount.
• His sons have already begun their own political careers. It may appear to be too much of a dynastic attempt.
• Marco Rubio is one of his protégés. This could cause a strange conflict in the Party where the two leading candidates both hail from the Sunshine State.
• Apparently, his wealth took a big hit in the recession. His earnings in the private sector are much more than in government service.
Personally, I think that Jeb is probably the strongest candidate available to the GOP in 2016. The biggest danger for him is that he may be seen as one of the old guard, establishment figures. This may alienate many of the Tea Party activists, assuming that they’re still around in four years.