The Campaign Spot

Mitt, Newt, the Ricks, Michele, Ron, Jon . . . and Jeb?

The Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt features the latest futile round of “Hillary 2012″ buzz, a discussion of an anti–Occupy Wall Street theme in the trailer for the upcoming Batman movie, and this latest unexpected turn in the GOP presidential race:

Mitt, Newt, the Ricks, Michele, Ron, Jon . . . and Jeb?

Let me get my scorecard . . . if you want to see, say, Jeb Bush jump into the presidential race, you’re one of those inside-the-Beltway, RINO, squish moderates who’s out of touch, right? You want to restore a dynasty, right? You’re resisting all of the evidence that all of the old rules are thrown out, and you’re stuck in this old-fashioned mentality that a successful two-term governor of a large and diverse state would be a good Republican nominee, right?

Because . . . Rush Limbaugh seems pretty enthusiastic:

He may be the best Bush of all, people said, but, “Oh, it’s just unfortunate, the timing, this country will not put up with another Bush, not now,” and look what we have here, Jeb Bush writes a piece in the Wall Street Journal which, folks, I have to tell you, I could have written. I have said as much. I say it repeatedly on this program and on my Rush to Excellence appearances. Extolling the virtues of freedom, economic freedom, capitalism, people pursuing excellence, being the best they can be.

We have too many laws, too many regulations, everybody trying to control the outcome of everybody else. There’s no suffering and no pain and no risk-taking. That’s bad, that’s not good, it’s not how this country was built. Jeb Bush is saying exactly what I’ve said over and over again and now we got some guy, Steve Moore from the Wall Street Journal, who is suggesting Bush could win on a write-in ballot. . . . So see how fluid things are? See how the unexpected can all of a sudden come to life instantly? Ha. He-he-he-he. Palin’s only five letters. That would very easy to write in. Bush, B-u-s-h, four letters, Palin, P-a-l-i-n, five letters.

That’s in response to this Wall Street Journal piece by Jeb Bush:

We either can go down the road we are on, a road where the individual is allowed to succeed only so much before being punished with ruinous taxation, where commerce ignores government action at its own peril, and where the state decides how a massive share of the economy’s resources should be spent.

Or we can return to the road we once knew and which has served us well: a road where individuals acting freely and with little restraint are able to pursue fortune and prosperity as they see fit, a road where the government’s role is not to shape the marketplace but to help prepare its citizens to prosper from it.

In short, we must choose between the straight line promised by the statists and the jagged line of economic freedom. The straight line of gradual and controlled growth is what the statists promise but can never deliver. The jagged line offers no guarantees but has a powerful record of delivering the most prosperity and the most opportunity to the most people. We cannot possibly know in advance what freedom promises for 312 million individuals. But unless we are willing to explore the jagged line of freedom, we will be stuck with the straight line. And the straight line, it turns out, is a flat line.

Now, I’m among those who thought it was too late for anybody to jump in, but . . . boy, what made Jeb Bush decide to write an op-ed like that for the Journal? He has to know that lots of people will interpret that as a trial balloon for a presidential bid . . .

Wall Street Journal editorial-board member Steve Moore, on Fox News Channel Monday morning, certainly did his part to fan the flames a bit:

Jeb Bush is one of the kind of people who is so well-known around the country, Martha, that if he were to get into this race, he could win as a write-in candidate. It’s only four letters, right — B.U.S.H. So I think it’s an important piece. I don’t think he’s likely to get into the race, but there are a lot of people talking about it.

And Mediaite relays the latest bit of teasing from that other well-known GOP figure:

“Any chance we can see you making a play, even after Iowa or New Hampshire?” Bolling asked. “There’s still plenty of time, Governor.”

“You know, it’s not too late for folks to jump in,” Sarah Palin replied. “And I don’t know, you know, it — who knows what will happen in the future?”

Palin-Christie 2012: Because not even the declaration that they’re not running stopped the speculation that they might be running.

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