Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Last night, Rachel Maddow pondered the sudden reemergence of Jeb Bush -- focusing on, among other things, the fact that a pollster was asking about Jeb's chances in New Hampshire when the deadline for getting on the New Hampshire primary ballot has passed. Why ask, then? And why all the other recent Jeb stirrings?

Her conclusion: this makes no sense if the point is to run Jeb as a Republican, but it makes perfect sense if the point is to get Jeb onto the top of the Americans Elect ticket.

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She takes Americans Elect seriously. So do I -- the AE folks have money, they're rapidly getting ballot access across the country, and our idiot punditocracy sees starbursts every time someone talks about challenging our two-party system from what seems to be the center. (Yeah, I know -- how the hell would a ticket with Jeb Bush at the top be from the center? But his running mate would probably be Lieberman or Bayh or Ben Nelson or Zell Miller -- AE insists on a bipartisan ticket -- and the pundit morons would still swoon.)

I'm just pleased to see that Maddow and I have been thinking along the same lines -- last week I speculated that if Newt Gingrich was on the verge of winning the GOP nomination, the Republican Party and fat-cat GOP donors and super PACs would make plans to withdraw support from him and to get a more compatible candidate to top the AE ticket. Maddow also thinks that's plausible. I wasn't thinking of Jeb at the time, but why not?

One quibble with what Maddow said: I'm not sure it really matters whether the New Hampshire filing deadline has passed because New Hampshire does allow write-ins (Henry Cabot Lodge even won the 1964 Republican primary as a write-in). Yes, that's an uphill climb, but hey, we actually have a sitting U.S. senator right now, Lisa Murkowski, who won her last election as a write-in. It's a crazy country these days. If Mitt Romney were to finish a distant fourth in Iowa and were sliding in the New Hampshire polls, can't you imagine the entire GOP noise machine promoting Jeb with one voice, even Jeb as a write-in in New Hampshire and other early states? And given the way GOP voters have been responding to their recent marching orders on abandoning Gingrich, can't you imagine such a campaign working?

But, of course, the success of the noise machine in garrotting Gingrich is why this won't be necessary.

So now, I suppose, it's up to various crazies and saboteurs to try to promote Hillary Clinton as an AE candidate, or Condi Rice. Too bad for them that neither Hillary nor Condi wants to run.

But please understand that if the Republicans get the nominee they want, as now seems likely, they will try to game the AE process so the ticket-topper will be someone who pulls votes from Obama, and they will work tirelessly to portray whoever gets the AE nod -- even if it's Huntsman or Bloomberg -- as a huge liberal, so no right-winger will cross over to AE.


c u n d gulag said...


My question is, what's in it for Jeb?

The boy and his daddy still have Presidential aspirations for him, most likely in 2016, so why would he run on the AE ticket next year, and risk losing a chance at the Republican top spot in 2016?

I mean, if he swings the '12 election to the Republicans, he'll have to put his aspirations on hold until at least 2020, when he'll be 67 - not old, but no spring chicken.
And what if, as I would expect, having another 4-8 years of Republican rule totally flushes this country down the shitter, completing his brother's, father's, and Uncle's Ronnie's and Dick's work?
Or, will the voting system be so jiggered to stop anyone non-Conservative from voting, that it won't make any difference, and Jeb can rule until one of the younger Bush's is deemed ready to take over?
Kind of like North Korea, no?

So, what's in it for Jeb to head the AE ticket in 2012?

If someone can answer that, then I think this is certainly a possibility worth worrying about.

Until then, I've got enough to worry about...

Stephen Harding said...

cund gulag: You're probably right on Jeb, especially if Romney wins the Primary.
The problem is, if this organization gets a viable ticket together and that ticket wins just one state in the election, Americans Elect can be a kingmaker in a close presidential election.

If there are three tickets and none gets a majority of electoral votes, then Americans Elect will hold a third election in December and they will be able to decide who to give their delegates to--Obama or Romney. Moreover there's such shadiness wrt to their election process that their Board will probably be the one to decide who gets the votes. And who is on their board? Who the hell knows?

c u n d gulag said...

FYI - Here is the always great Charles Pierce on Jeb yesterday:


Ten Bears said...

Man-o-man, I've got to start keeping better track of where I "say" these things: It has been my... anticipation, that Jeb would be in this for over a year now. I may even have suggested so here. I still think there is a possibility of a brokered convention, though the primary laws on this are vague and contradictory, or even a "rogue" convention - "screw these bozos, we nominate..." Though again, the laws on this are vague and contradictory, which is not surprising considering there are some fifty of them.

And I don't think the "elder statesman"/ young buck, i.e. Bush/Cheney, combination will fly again. Lieberman, Bayh, Ben Nelson and Zell Miller have not only proven themselves to be the epitome of "DINO", which doesn't really matter as a third party candidate, but are the face of the Democrats' sell-out to the corporations, Zionists and international bankers. The last few die-hard holdouts who even we mid-fiftyish types think should have retired a long time ago. If either the repubs or the AE runs Jeb it'll be to appeal to the younger wing of the base, and it just won't with a crazy grand-uncle on the ticket.

That said, I don't think he can beat Obama.

Dark Avenger said...

I was wondering who would have the resources to spend on a poll in New Hampshire this close to the election, and of course, AE would be able to spend that kind of dough.

Having Jeb Bush would be a 'savior' to all the Third Way traitors who would prefer a return to the Gilded Age.

Greg said...

I once was convinced Jeb would be content waiting for '16. But now I figure he's taken note of how Christie and Rubio and maybe one or two others are well-positioned to be "the new breed" in '16 (with him as old news), and I wouldn't be surprised if he was willing to throw himself into the mix somehow this year. If nothing else, he can see himself as the one who rescued the GOP from any long-term "Clown Car" damage -- while still retaining a chance to win outright, if the economy remains sluggish -- or as mentioned upthread, he can wield real leverage as a "kingmaker" on a 3rd Party ticket. It must all be quite tempting to his patented Bush ego.