Romney vs. Bush may just open the door to Scott Walker
Put me down as someone who would really enjoy a contest between Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney. They are both serious and qualified men. I've always loved Romney's mixture of private- and public-sector experience. Jeb Bush ran a big state that looks a lot like the U.S. They are good, patriotic men who have thought hard about the issues confronting the country.
However, they have problems:
1) Romney lost in 2012. Fair or unfair, many people think that he ran a poor campaign. He seemed poised for victory after the first debate and then fell back. Also, a lot of the base was never excited about him. The lack of enthusiasm hurt him, especially against the Obama get-out-the-vote drive.
2) Bush is Bush, and I don't mean any disrespect to Bush-41 or Bush-43. I'm not sure that the country wants a Bush-45. Maybe that's a little too much Bush, although running against Hillary Clinton would kill that "dynasty" criticism.
Therefore, I think that a Romney-vs.-Bush contest could end up helping a fresh new face named Scott Walker, the very talented and able governor of Wisconsin.
As Caitlin Hailey Burns points out, Walker has a lot going for him:
While Bush, Romney and Christie compete for the establishment lane, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and others seek out the conservative base, Walker is fashioning himself as something of a hybrid, capable of winning the hearts of the base and the minds of the center-right.
Walker’s take-no-prisoners approach with unions over collective bargaining rights catapulted him onto the national stage.
He survived an expensive recall election in 2012 that put him on the map of possible presidential contenders and won re-election in November by six points -- running as a conservative in a state that has chosen the Democratic candidate for president since 1984.
"He's been through the fire. The recall was as much a national election" as it was a state referendum, says Tim Miller of America Rising, an opposition research firm that helped Republican candidates like Walker in the 2014 election.
While Walker is well known for the union fight, he is known among activists as a conservative Christian who signed concealed-carry legislation in Wisconsin and pushed the legislature to repeal Common Core standards.
Walker is also directing his attorney general to file a lawsuit over federal energy regulations he said would hurt manufacturing.
He is pitching himself as a leader with battle-tested skills who can effectively manage the government while advancing conservative principles.
Walker may just be the compromise candidate, the one who brings everybody together. And let's not forget that he's taken more enemy fire than anyone in recent memory. What else could they throw at Walker that we have not seen before?
Of course, things may change for Walker in 2016. Romney and Bush are not currently running a state, so they don't have to deal with the electoral mood swings that come from making decisions and governing.
Keep an eye on Walker. I believe very strongly that he will be on the ticket, one way or another. I wouldn't be surprised if he's the #1 looking around for a #2!