Palin, Jeb Bush, mulling presidential options?
Could a candidate with excellent name recognition and the ability to raise millions almost immediately still have a shot if they entered the race today?
Sarah Palin thinks so. And Jeb Bush is going to be visited by some very powerful party insiders and asked - again - to reconsider his decision not to run for president.
In an interview with Fox Business News, Palin refused to shut the door while saying that it wasn't too late to jump in:
Any chance we can see you making a play, even after Iowa or New Hampshire?" Bolling asked. "There's still plenty of time, Governor."
"You know, it's not too late for folks to jump in," Palin replied. "And I don't know, you know, it - who knows what will happen in the future?"
As for Jeb Bush, he has not encouraged the latest round of speculation, but his Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal - almost a campaign style economic piece - that a lot of conservatives saw as a strong defense of capitalism has people asking why he can't still make a run:
All the alternative candidates have repeatedly said they won't run. But there is new speculation focusing on Bush after the former Florida governor turned heads Monday morning when he wrote, in the Wall Street Journal, a campaign-like economic manifesto headlined "Capitalism and the Right to Rise."
Starting off with a good word for House Budget Committee chairman Ryan -- never a bad move for a GOP hopeful -- Bush called for the removal of burdensome and intrusive government regulations on business. "We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise," Bush wrote. "We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck. That is what economic freedom looks like."
It could be that Bush just had something to say. It could be that he specifically wanted to influence the ongoing Republican economic conversation. Or it could be something more.
Hours after the op-ed appeared, Rush Limbaugh discussed it on his radio program. Praising the article -- "I swear, I could have written this" -- Limbaugh saw it as a possible trial balloon for a Jeb Bush run. Noting that Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore appeared on Fox News Monday morning and expressed hope Bush would run, Limbaugh concluded, "So you might say, now, that a wing of the Republican establishment [the Wall Street Journal] is floating a trial balloon for Jeb Bush."
At this point, the entry of Palin or Bush would be problematic. Nobody has ever tried to jump start a campaign in the middle of the race before when most of the political pros are locked up working for other campaigns and fundraising would be a challenge. They may also be seen as spoilers because even if their candidacies caught fire, the chance of a brokered convention would become a bigger possibility.
Both Palin and Bush already have rudimentary political organizations - especially Bush who has a network of powerful politicos in his rolodex. But his staff has little national experience and Palin's has even less.
I think this is all a lot of smoke fanned by the media who are getting tired of writing about the same old candidates.
Then again, who knows?...