Jeb Bush meets with Boston business leadersI think Jeb did this because he doesn't quite believe Mitt Romney will stay out of the race -- please note that Jeb's host in Boston, Robert Reynolds, gave $100,000 to Romney's super PAC for the 2012 campaign, and note that Scott Brown was enough a Romney cheerleader that last fall, when he was running for Senate in New Hampshire, he was still singing Mitt's praises, telling Brian Kilmeade of Fox News that Romney "was right on Russia, he was right on Obamacare, he was right on the economy. And I guarantee you we would not be worrying about Ebola right now and, you know, worrying about our foreign policy screw ups” if Romney were president.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, assembling the pieces of a presidential run, met with Boston business heavyweights Friday to raise money for his rapidly growing political operation.
Bush was hosted by Putnam Investments CEO Robert Reynolds at a downtown luncheon, a move that took some in the local Republican establishment by surprise. Senior aides to Governor Charlie Baker said they were unaware of the stop.
Former senator Scott Brown tweeted a photo of himself and his wife, Gail, with Bush, saying they had discussed “2016 possibilities.” ...
So this is Jeb trying to poach Romney money and Romney backers in the city where Romney headquartered his campaign.
And Jeb's suspicions may be warranted because -- what do you know? -- just last night National Review's Eliana Johnson published yet another story strongly suggesting that Mitt might jump in:
Mitt Romney is more open to a third presidential bid than ever before, according to friends and top donors of the former Massachusetts governor, which means there might be a bloody battle on the establishment side of the field....Do you get the feeling that Jeb and Mitt need to get a room somewhere and compare penis sizes, or portfolio sizes, or something, just to settle once and for all who's the One True Ruler of GOP Establishmant Land? They seem more focused on each other right now than on Hillary Clinton.
“The governor is preserving his options -- that’s the message I’ve gotten from Boston,” says Robert O’Brien, a Los Angeles lawyer who served as a foreign-policy adviser on Romney’s 2012 campaign. When I spoke with O’Brien in December, he told me that Romney was not considering a 2016 run but that “circumstances could change.”
In Romney world, the thinking about a 2016 bid has ratcheted up, and his top donors, most of whom remain quite loyal, have gotten the signal. O’Brien tells me that the shift in his own language reflects what he’s hearing from Romney and his team in Boston....
As this develops in the coming weeks, you might want to grab some popcorn.
UPDATE: Here we go:
JUST IN: Mitt Romney tells GOP donors at Manhattan event that he is considering run for White House in 2016, Dow Jones reports.— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) January 9, 2015