Larry Sabato has a new Republican front-runner for 2016:
In our first ranking of the very large and very unsettled 2016 Republican presidential field back in April of last year, we decided to not even include the name of one of the brightest stars in the GOP universe: Jeb Bush. We just didn't think, at the time, that the former Florida governor and brother and son of presidents was all that interested in running.Sabato's reasons? Bush is appealing to the establishment; he can raise a lot more money than crazies like Cruz and Paul; Chris Christie is in trouble, and Jeb, who's a Christie fan ("'I love the guy,' Bush said of Christie in March 2013"), would be a strong candidate in the more moderate primary states where an untarnished Christie would probably run well.
But during 2013 and into this new year, we've gotten the sense, like many others, that things might be changing. So much so that we now consider Bush the leader of the field if he decides to run....
I don't think Jeb will run if Marco Rubio runs, and Rubio sure seems to be running. But if Jeb does run, I think one issue will kill him in the primaries: the Common Core standards for American schools. He's not just a supporter -- he's a major advocate:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's foundation launched an ad campaign promoting Common Core education standards for the state....More:
The ads, sponsored by Bush's nonprofit Foundation for Excellence in Education, will air a series of digital videos to run for the next 10 weeks featuring four teachers lauding the Common Core standards....
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday urged state officials to follow through on Common Core education standards despite what he called an "avalanche" of criticism from those who oppose them.How much do rabid right-wingers hate Common Core? Let me give you a few sample headlines from Michelle Malkin's blog:
Bush said at an education forum with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that the standards are key to improving educational achievement around the country....
Tennessee is among the vast majority of states that have adopted the standards....
But Tennessee is also among the states grappling with a backlash against Common Core, especially by conservative groups....
* "Rejecting Jeb Bush's Fed Ed racket: Florida turns against Common Core"The angry right thinks Common Core is liberal fascism with Obama's name written all over it. I know the crazies always fall short in GOP presidential primary campaigns, but they always force whoever ultimately wins to reject past positions deemed treasonous on the rabid right -- McCain's support for immigration reform and campaign finance laws, Romney's support for health care reform. Support for Common Core would fall into that category. Jeb would have to repudiate it, and he seems too dug in to do that.
* "Jeb Bush's latest Common Core snit fit"
* "Rotten to the Core: Jeb Bush's Crony Republicans Against Higher Standards"
* "Colorado principal: Common Core threatens our autonomy, student privacy, and mission of excellence"
* "'Parents, you need to question these people!:' Shock video of dad arrested at school meeting after challenging Common Core; Update: Charges dropped"
* "A brown-skinned suburban mom responds to Common Core bigot Arne Duncan"
* "Rotten to the Core: Obama's War on Academic Standards (Part 1)"
So Jeb hasn't got a chance.