Don’t Rule Jeb Out?

by Jonah Goldberg

So far the most interesting response to my column comes from a bunch of readers who claim, suggest, suspect, assert or hope that Jeb isn’t as firmly on the sidelines as I think. For what that’s worth.  I also got this intriguing email:

I just read your article on RCP about the large 2012 GOP field.  In it, you mentioned Huckabee might not run and his fund raising certainly seems to suggest that as well.  Right now though, he seems to be the only candidate who can give Palin a run for her money.  Still if he doesn’t run, much of his support is likely to go to Palin.  I’m not sure he wants that.
If you’ll remember, Huckabee told the National Journal last week he wouldn’t run if Jeb Bush ran.  He had very positive things to say about Jeb and said Jeb could clear the field if he entered the race.  As best I can tell, Huckabee’s comments about Jeb were unprompted.  The comments certainly caught my attention.
I’m beginning to wonder if Huckabee is setting the stage or at least trying to prod Jeb into entering the race later in 2011.  I don’t get the sense he wants Palin to win and, if you’ll notice, Huckabee has started to throw small jabs at Palin.  It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Huckabee has tried to ruin another candidate’s chances.  Romney still has tire marks on him from 2008.
Maybe I’m reading a bit too much into this, but there have been stories circulating that Jeb really is considering a run despite his public pronouncements.  A few weeks ago, there was a blurb in US News and World Report that close associates say Jeb hasn’t ruled out a run.  I think he is more likely than not to run.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

For the record, I think Jeb Bush is fantastic.