It’s time to start getting pragmatic about the 2016 presidential election. We still have a long way to go before the primary season swings into full gear, but early signs indicate that Hillary Clinton will be the best hope for the Democrats when things start getting official. So far, no one else has even hinted towards running on the DNC side of things. That means that Republicans need to prepare to run against Hillary.
So far, the main name being tossed around on the right is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. To say he’s a controversial choice would be putting it mildly. Conservatives tired of establishment Republicans running the show don’t want him, Tea Party faithful find his positions on Common Core and immigration disturbing, and many Americans are wary of putting another Bush in the White House. Nonetheless, he’s coming out on top of poll after poll. The only one close to matching his numbers is another controversial pick: Mitt Romney.
The Realistic Approach
Putting ideology and legacy frustrations on the backburner for a moment, let’s start with a very basic question: can Bush get elected? That he can win the primaries is academic. Republicans still seem to believe that the establishment candidate is the best candidate, and he’ll have bigwig donors literally throwing money at his campaign. Candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have fervent support among conservatives, but they scare off the billionaires who make running for president a possibility.
But what about the general election. Can Bush beat Hillary Clinton? Anything can happen in the next two years, but it’s hard to have a lot of confidence. Many conservatives will be put off by a Bush candidacy. They may stay home on election day. Left-leaning independents who might appreciate Bush’s stances on immigration and education will find just as much to like in Hillary’s campaign promises.
Then there’s history. George W. Bush was an establishment candidate who was able to squeak out a win in 2000, but let’s not forget how close that race was. Also, Al Gore was not nearly as formidable as Clinton. John McCain and Mitt Romney were both ineffective in their candidacies, allowing Barack Obama to win in two handy back-to-back victories. Would running Jeb Bush give us the same result?
I fear the United States can’t withstand another four years of dreadful liberal rule. Hillary Clinton will bring the same kind of economic policies to the country as her predecessor, and we simply can’t afford to let that happen. America is a ship in need of righting, and Clinton is not the woman for the job. Unfortunately, unless conservatives can jump behind a candidate really willing to make a difference, she may get her chance.