Mitt vs. Jeb vs. Mike: Whose turn is it?
Romney, Bush, and Huckabee are all hinting they might be interested in running for president in 2016. Republicans usually fall in line when it comes to presidential nominating elections. They usually vote for the guy whose turn it is.
Mitt vs. Jeb vs. Mike.
Now, we are getting somewhere.
All three are hinting that they just might be interested in running for president.
Mike is Huckabee, formerly of the Fox Network, left the broadcast business and basically said he was running for president.
Jeb is Bush, formerly the governor of Florida and successful political entrepreneur, is resigning from all of his corporate boards and basically said he was running for president.
Mitt is Romney, formerly the standard bearer of the GOP, said he wants to be president to a small group of his biggest donors.
All of them sense an opportunity to take back the White House from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.
Hillary Clinton is not as formidable as she once seemed.
And adults are in charge of the Republican Party in Washington, much to the consternation of the tea party, but to the delight of vaunted GOP establishment.
As Mitch McConnell stated last week, and I paraphrase, his job is to make sure that a Republican can successfully compete for the White House by making the party less scary.
Mike Huckabee has the best feel for the GOP base electorate as it is. It is Southern, it is Baptist, it is middle class (and by middle class, I mean the average family income is about 50 grand), and it is populist in its approach to issues.
The GOP establishment doesn’t really love the former Arkansas governor, but he has a pretty good sense of what average Americans are going through.
Jeb Bush is the establishment’s choice, hands down. First of all, he is a Bush, and most of the GOP establishment has worked in a Bush administration of one kind or another.
Second, Jeb is smart and on big issues, like immigration and education, he is not content to base his policies on sound bites. He actually digs in to issues and wants to move the country forward.
Bush’s best asset (outside of the family’s impressive financial network) is that he is authentic, and he is not going to pander in order to get votes.
Authenticity is not Mitt Romney’s strong suit. The former Massachusetts governor has become very good at being ideologically flexible. When he was governor, he was pro-choice for example, but he became a big pro-life guy once he decided to run for the White House.
Romney has a very strong private-sector pedigree, but that track-record hurt him when the Obama campaign ran millions of hard-hitting ads featuring ex-employees of companies he used to own.
Romney couldn’t beat Barack Obama when he was at his weakest point in his presidency, so it is hard to see how he will beat Hillary. But then again, Hillary is not as strong as we might assume she is.
The Republicans usually fall in line when it comes to presidential nominating elections. They usually vote for the guy whose turn it is.
But whose turn is it?
Hasn’t Romney already had his turn? Haven’t we already had enough of the Bushes? Mike Huckabee is a nice guy, but hasn’t his time passed?
In any event, I hope all three run. I think it will make the GOP debates worth watching.
John Feehery publishes his Feehery Theory blog at http://www.thefeeherytheory.com/.