Monday, March 23, 2015

If Jeb Bush is the candidate...

...of the Republican establishment (and someone who could actually win a general election), and Scott Walker and Marco Rubio -- conservatives who are still acceptable to the party elite -- are there if he falters, what space is there left for any of the other hopefuls in the crowded 2016 GOP field?

And the only answer I can think of is: maximally conservative positions on all the issues. That means anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-immigration, anti-Common Core, pro-gun, anti-tax (including capital gains and dividends -- even abolishing the IRS!), pro-balanced budget, pro-Christian, anti-Muslim, hard-line ISIS and Iran, anti-Putin, pro-Netanyahu, anti-two state solution, and on and on and on.

And who might fit that bill? Chris Christie? Still hoping to get the establishment nod. Rand Paul? Too dovish on foreign policy. Rick Perry? Too squishy on immigration. Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum? Unacceptable to the Club for Growth crowd.

By my reckoning, that leaves only Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz.

Now since Jindal may not even make it to the starting line (read Charles Blow's column in the Times today), Cruz could end up running to the right of everybody on everything. And that might not be such a bad strategy.

I wouldn't be surprised if Cruz came out swinging in his announcement for president today. With nothing to lose (the Texas senator is a decided long shot and nobody likes him anyway) the champion debater could steal one of the early debates and throw the whole thing up for grabs.

Reince Priebus: better order some extra Rolaids now.

No comments: