The Corner

No CPAC for Jeb Bush

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference is famous for being a testing ground for Republican presidential candidates, but one potential 2016 contender, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, will be conspicuously absent this year.

As scandal swirls around New Jersey governor Chris Christie, many in the party establishment are looking to Bush for signs of political life. Bush, who delivered one of the keynote speeches at CPAC last year, is the only figure in the GOP who could surge instantly to the front of the presidential pack in the eyes of establishment figures by signaling an intention to run.

He won’t be doing so on the CPAC stage, though. “Jeb made sure that we knew that he couldn’t make it,” a CPAC insider tells National Review Online, and the governor’s office confirmed that he will miss this year’s conference due to “previously scheduled business commitments.” 

CPAC, which is to be held in early March in National Harbor, Md., has historically offered the party’s presidential contenders a chance to test-run their messages before a young and ebullient segment of the GOP base and with the longtime party activists who gather for the event.

“All the potential 2016-ers, with the exception of [Wisconsin governor Scott] Walker and [Indiana governor Mike] Pence who are in the middle of legislative sessions, made sure we knew they were available speak,” the CPAC insider says.

That includes New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who was snubbed by conference organizers last year for a record they viewed as insufficiently conservative; according to American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas, though, Christie will take the CPAC stage in March. Walker, a Christie pal, is reportedly working to get a CPAC appearance on his calendar despite his commitments in Wisconsin. 

The six confirmed speakers for this year’s conference are all rumored presidential contenders: Florida senator Marco Rubio, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, Texas senator Ted Cruz, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.  

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More