Jebbie’s Problem in a Nutshell

The Values Voter Summit isn’t the only place where conservatives seem to be determined not to nominate another perceived squish for president.

Many of you may recall that moment early in the 2012 presidential cycle when the conservative movement’s banner publication, National Review, suddenly devoted an issue to what amounted to a an effort to draft Jeb Bush as a candidate.

How the mighty have fallen. Today at NR’s The Corner subsite, Ramesh Ponnuru–who as recently as April was touting Jeb’s chances in 2016–posed a question for the comment thread, under the headline “A Hypothetical Question:”

You have to choose (for the purposes of this comment section) among Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Mitt Romney to be the next Republican presidential nominee. Rank your choices and explain your rankings. No substituting hemlock or the like.

When I scanned the comment thread there were about 50 responses up, and suffice it to say Jebbie was not doing well–maybe two or three preferred him to the 2012 loser Mitt and the Grand Heretic and scandal-baby Christie, but not with a lot of enthusiasm.

As soon as the midterm elections end we will be flooded with punditry suggesting the GOP is in a “pragmatic” mood and ready finally to do whatever it takes to win in 2016. Not necessarily, if the “base” has anything to say about it.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.