Jeb Bush looking at Florida senate run (updated)

Jeb Bush may be the most popular Republican in the state of Florida. And with the announcement yesterday by Senator Mel Martinez that he would not seek another term in 2010 and may resign early, the president's brother immediately let it be known that he was interested in the job:

A source close to Bush said he'll be thoughtful and methodical about the decision-making process. He will consider the impact a race would have on his family and his business and whether or not the U.S. Senate is the best forum from which to continue his advocacy for issues such as education, immigration and GOP solutions to health care reform.

In an interview with Politico immediately after November’s election, the former governor said the Republican Party should take four primary steps to regain favor with voters: Show no tolerance for corruption, practice what it preaches about limiting the scope of government (“There should not be such a thing as a Big Government Republican”), stand for working families and small business, and embrace reform.

Bush said conservatives should “do the math of the new demographics of the United States,” explaining that the Republican Party “can’t be anti-Hispanic, anti-young person — anti many things — and be surprised when we don’t win elections.” 

Since Martinez's announcement Tuesday, Bush has received many phone calls and emails from Floridians and national Republicans urging him to run, the source close to him said Tuesday night.

The Democrats don't have anyone close to Bush in name recognition or in the ability to raise copious amounts of money so Jeb would have a huge advantage right out of the gate. And voters have short memories about some things. You recall that they returned the Democrats to power in 2006 after soundly rejecting them in 2004. It is possible that the Republican "brand" won't be looking so horrible after a year or so of Democratic rule.

Bush would almost be forced to "take the pledge" and promise not to run for president in 2012. This could be an easy promise to keep if Obama can avoid massive trouble as the Democrat would be a prohibitive favorite given his massive mailing list and base of donors. (It is not expected that the Republicans will have anything remotely comparable for a while.) And it could very well be that the younger Bush has little desire to run for president. At any rate, a run in 2012 would be fraught wiith problems. He's young enough that 2016 might be his time to shine.


UPDATE

AT Political Correspondent Rich Baehr informs me that Governor Charlie Crist has approval ratings approaching 65% which would almost certainly make him the most popular Republican in Florida. Rich also points out that Crist could very well have national ambitions of his own and that both Bush and Crist running for re-election in 2010 would be very good for the Florida GOP.

Jeb Bush may be the most popular Republican in the state of Florida. And with the announcement yesterday by Senator Mel Martinez that he would not seek another term in 2010 and may resign early, the president's brother immediately let it be known that he was interested in the job:

A source close to Bush said he'll be thoughtful and methodical about the decision-making process. He will consider the impact a race would have on his family and his business and whether or not the U.S. Senate is the best forum from which to continue his advocacy for issues such as education, immigration and GOP solutions to health care reform.

In an interview with Politico immediately after November’s election, the former governor said the Republican Party should take four primary steps to regain favor with voters: Show no tolerance for corruption, practice what it preaches about limiting the scope of government (“There should not be such a thing as a Big Government Republican”), stand for working families and small business, and embrace reform.

Bush said conservatives should “do the math of the new demographics of the United States,” explaining that the Republican Party “can’t be anti-Hispanic, anti-young person — anti many things — and be surprised when we don’t win elections.” 

Since Martinez's announcement Tuesday, Bush has received many phone calls and emails from Floridians and national Republicans urging him to run, the source close to him said Tuesday night.

The Democrats don't have anyone close to Bush in name recognition or in the ability to raise copious amounts of money so Jeb would have a huge advantage right out of the gate. And voters have short memories about some things. You recall that they returned the Democrats to power in 2006 after soundly rejecting them in 2004. It is possible that the Republican "brand" won't be looking so horrible after a year or so of Democratic rule.

Bush would almost be forced to "take the pledge" and promise not to run for president in 2012. This could be an easy promise to keep if Obama can avoid massive trouble as the Democrat would be a prohibitive favorite given his massive mailing list and base of donors. (It is not expected that the Republicans will have anything remotely comparable for a while.) And it could very well be that the younger Bush has little desire to run for president. At any rate, a run in 2012 would be fraught wiith problems. He's young enough that 2016 might be his time to shine.


UPDATE

AT Political Correspondent Rich Baehr informs me that Governor Charlie Crist has approval ratings approaching 65% which would almost certainly make him the most popular Republican in Florida. Rich also points out that Crist could very well have national ambitions of his own and that both Bush and Crist running for re-election in 2010 would be very good for the Florida GOP.