Report: Republican Insiders See Jeb Bush as the Next Great Hope For the GOP

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 30 2014 1:25 PM

Report: Republican Insiders See Jeb Bush as the Next Great Hope For the GOP

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a Long Island Association luncheon at the Crest Hollow Country Club on February 24, 2014 in Woodbury, New York

Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Republican Party’s “most powerful insiders and financiers” who are trying to figure out who will be their best hope to win back the presidency in 2016, seem to have agreed they want another Bush in the White House. The Washington Post talked to lots of Republican insiders and said that “many if not most” of Mitt Romney’s big-time donors are courting Jeb Bush. One Romney bundler said that the “vast majority” of Romney’s biggest donors would back Bush.

Part of the excitement over the former Florida governor has to do with concern that Republicans are running out of mainstream choices. There’s widespread fear that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has blown his chances due to the ongoing George Washington Bridge scandal. Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul may be popular among the Republican base but is not seen as viable for a national race.  Bush insists he won’t make a decision before the end of the year. One of the issues Bush and his allies will have to examine closely before jumping in the race is whether he can push back against widespread “Bush fatigue” and his brother’s legacy. Case in point, almost half of all Americans say they “definitely would not” vote for Jeb Bush for president.  

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.