The Strongest GOP Candidate For President?

Posted by | January 19, 2011 20:53 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

One of the reasons I am so confident that President Obama will win reelection is the quality of the Republican candidates.  The GOP nearly always nominates their front-runner, meaning stronger candidates like Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie face a very difficult path to the nomination (both are excellent possibilities for vice president).  And their front-runners — Palin, Romney, Gingrich, and Huckabee — all are very weak national candidates.  However, Jeb Bush scares me.

The younger Bush brother can run as an outsider since he was a governor and is now out of office.  He is bright, would immediately be a front-runner, and was long regarded as the strongest candidate of the Bush boys.  He has only two weaknesses that I can see.  The first is his willingness to be flexible on certain GOP hot-button issues like immigration.

“This is not about politics. This is about the conservative cause. If you look over the horizon over the next 10 or 20 years…without an active involvement of Hispanics, we will not be the governing philosophy.”

His record as a social conservative and his support from business interests should allow him to deal with right-wing criticism (such as this)  on immigration.  His other weakness is harder to overcome.  It is his last name.  The distaste for the Bush brand left by his brother may keep him out of the race until 2016.  He will be a very strong candidate then (or the GOP may realize that they haven’t won a presidential election since 1928 without Richard Nixon or a Bush on the ticket).

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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