February 23rd, 2014
09:02 AM ET
7 months ago

Inside Politics: Does it take a Bush to beat a Clinton?

Washington (CNN) – Five takeaways from this Sunday’s Inside Politics:

1. The Year of Governing is over: Sad but true – it’s highly unlikely anything big and controversial will get dealt with this year.

House Speaker John Boehner took the first step in this “governing retreat” when he all but took immigration reform off the table. Now, President Obama has joined the 2014 Politics Comes First Caucus by dropping from his new budget a Social Security reform he had included in last year’s.

Inevitable perhaps, but this is one of the reasons there is bipartisan disgust with Washington. Election Day is 254 days away, and both parties are so worried about the turnout of their political bases they are afraid to do anything to alienate them.

Conservatives don’t want certain immigration reform; liberals don’t want the more modest Social Security cost of living increase President Obama embraced last year but abandons now.

“It really is important to understanding how the White House is using this year in terms of focusing on how Democrats succeed in the midterm elections,” Associated Press White House Correspondent Julie Pace said on “Inside Politics.” Last year, the proposal was “a good faith gesture to Republicans.

“It was meant to start negotiations on a grand bargain budget deal. This year, it's out. It's the clearest sign that we have that a grand bargain on the budget is not going to happen this year and really nothing much else is, either.”

2. Patchwork Paul strikes again: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is all about coalition building: looking to blend tea party, Libertarian, social conservative and establishment factions as he explores a 2016 presidential bid.

They are pieces that don’t always seem comfortable in the same room, and then this week Paul added this: a demand that rocker Ted Nugent apologize for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”

What’s up with this Paul maneuver? On "Inside Politics," a discussion that suggests a play for independent voters, and for African Americans.

“He is trying to demonstrate that his outreach efforts to the African-American community are legit,” was the take of New York Times Political Correspondent Jonathan Martin.

Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter sees it as part of a bigger Paul definition effort. “In Rand Paul's case, this is where he is, right? He is going to be on all these different issues, not easily put into a box. Whether it's restoring felon's rights to vote or drug minimum sentencing, he is just going to call it like he sees it.”

And kudos to David Maraniss of The Washington Post for holding some truths to be self-evident:

“What are we doing here? We are giving people credit for being rational human beings.”

3. The minimum wage: not so much in Congress, but still a campaign issue: President Obama’s call for legislation raising the minimum wage was a giant question mark anyway because of Republican opposition, and then the Congressional Budget Office made the hill steeper with a report last week suggesting it would be a big job killer.

But don’t expect the issue to die as a 2014 campaign theme. It is a big part of the Democrats’ argument about economic fairness and inequality. And Amy Walter points out a political pressure point.

“This issues, says the AFL-CIO and their allies, is something that can actually divide Republicans,” she reports. “If you make less than $50,000 and you are Republican, you are much more likely to want to support a minimum wage. If you make more than $50,000, they have polls in five states showing this, you don't support this. Why not use this to not just pump up your base but also divide Republicans.”

4. Timing is everything in politics: The “avoid the landmines” strategy we have talked about the past few Sundays is in many ways dictated by the political calendar.

As Jonathan Martin smartly noted this morning, “Why are they punting on immigration for now? Here is one reason: next month, March, 90 House GOP members will have their filing deadlines.”

In other words, Speak Boehner doesn’t want to schedule votes that could entice tea party and other conservatives to challenge incumbent House Republicans.

5. Does it take a Bush to beat a Clinton? Too soon for most of us, but it is a question some Republicans are asking, especially now that some see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as weakened.

Well, the final answer can wait until we know a lot more about the real 2016 terrain, not the 2014 speculation about it.

But this is worth noting: interest in a Jeb Bush run is up, and the former Florida governor appears to be giving the race more than just a rhetorical look.

In conversations with a half dozen GOP sources this past week, several reported having reliable information about Bush conversations with GOP moneymen. Nothing definitive, these sources said, in fact far from it. But the conversations were interpreted as the beginning of a serious discussion about 2016 viability. Stay tuned!


Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Are you ludicrous, as that guy in space balls said. Just go away. No bush the thush. Yes, Hillary16.
    PS: lovely Hillary.

    February 23, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. Pete

    My monies on Hillary no matter if Jeb runs or not..Jeb in Florida running for governor marrying a Hispanic women to garder more Hispanic votes,typical Bush of him isn't it..Bushs have more skeletons,trash in their closets than all the past president combined..Does anyone care to challenge me on that fact republicans!!

    February 23, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. Marie MD

    Nobody on the teaklan/repug wagon can beat a tortoise in a race.
    We don't want or need another shrub leading the country.
    Daddy and his president taxed social security earnings and instead of reading his lips he worsened the economy. The brother has the blood of thousands of innocents for a WMDs lie of a war.
    Another bush. I don't think the country could recover.

    February 23, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. m@k%

    George W. Bush failed to prevent 911 and killed 3,000, invaded the wrong nation and killed 5,000 US soldiers and disabled 30,000 and left 100,000 with disabling PTSD, killed 500,000 and disabled 1,000,000 Iraqi men, women and children, indebted the nation $5 trillion, and started illegal domestic spying in 2003 with no results, all of which was enabled by brother Jeb while Florida Governor by "delivering" a vote that elected Al Gore. The Bush family was friends with the bin Ladens through the Carlyle Group and let the bin Laden's fly home without interrogation September 12, 2001.

    We're done with the Bush family. DONE.

    February 23, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Jeb Bush can’t win the GOP primary and republican can’t win the white house

    How far GOP can go to energies the base or narrow the base

    2008 America elected Kenyan immigrant son so 2009 red states pass tough anti immigration laws but it back fired in 2012
    Unions was the reason democrats in the white house so anti unions laws in 2010
    2010 Obama care became a law part of the law free birth control pills so red state pass anti abortion laws 2011
    2011 red states pass Voter ID laws, reduced voting days but it didn’t work 2012
    As usual democratic white house red states pass pro gun laws
    Now red states are focusing on laws that discriminate LGBT community

    February 23, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    The issue is, STILL, that Obama is the WORST President in U.S. History. Bar none. The people do KNOW that to be true........even if they voted for him, and even if their sentiments are liberal.

    Until he leaves office........absolutely NOTHING good will happen. So it isn't even about this year.........it is about until the END of his term, before there is any hope of improvement at all. Even then, it depends on how fed up with the waste, the people are, and whether they are willing to put yet another LOSER in office, in Hillary.

    February 23, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. rs

    So, the GOP has pledged to stand firmly against a whole host of important things (jobs bills, immigration reform, Gay Rights, raising the minimum wage, gun control even) where well more than 50% of Americans, if not 75-80% want to see action- yet the GOP insists on doing nothing- but placating their crazy base (by pushing their insanity as laws that take away civil rights,voters rights more radical anti-abotion bills, religion bills, etc.)- and that will win the elections for them in November?
    I think not.

    February 23, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. rs

    As for Mr. Bush to beat Ms. Clinton- well, Mr. G.W. Bush has made that name quite toxic- perhaps for a generation, and who says Ms. Clinton is the nominee? The election isn't until 2016… acres of time for other scenarios to unfold.

    February 23, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. pjoe

    Clinton = Bush = Obama

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

    February 23, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. jtinnon2009

    Not sure the country can survive another Bush...

    February 23, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Tony

    The last Bush lost to the last Clinton.

    February 23, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. brain

    if Americans are dumb enough to elect either of those people I'm seriously considering moving away. Neither have any answers – establishment same old same old, we need an outsider.

    February 23, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. SteveO

    None of the old guard on either side needs to be there period.

    February 23, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. jerrylax

    personally I want to drain the DC swamp…no more Bushes or Clintons…. However if the left are going to bring in clinton then I'll go for Bush any day. It's hard to believe anyone would want clinton as president with her past and resume', but after all we elected obama twice…insane as that was.

    February 23, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP has NOBODY that could WIN in 2016, forget about it GOP fools and tools for the croch brothers who live off their daddy's money and are a good reason to RAISE taxes on their ilk. If they can dump their free money from their fathers invention and patens, then they can afford to pay hundreds of millions in MORE TAXES!!!!!!!

    February 23, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. i'malib

    m@k%

    George W. Bush failed to prevent 911 and killed 3,000, invaded the wrong nation and killed 5,000 US soldiers and disabled 30,000 and left 100,000 with disabling PTSD, killed 500,000 and disabled 1,000,000 Iraqi men, women and children, indebted the nation $5 trillion, and started illegal domestic spying in 2003 with no results, all of which was enabled by brother Jeb while Florida Governor by "delivering" a vote that elected Al Gore. The Bush family was friends with the bin Ladens through the Carlyle Group and let the bin Laden's fly home without interrogation September 12, 2001.

    We're done with the Bush family. DONE.
    ------------------------------------–
    You must live in a state where pot is legal. Me too.

    February 23, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Anne

    It took a "clinton" to get a Reagan ..... what follows obozo has got to be amazing!

    ===that and it is surely (please God!!) not possible to be more corrupt, more ignorant, more inept, or more of a blight on America than Pseudodent Obozo!!

    February 23, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. ToneDeaf

    Until the people begin to put the interests of the country first, instead of their self interests, than be prepared for more of the same. Empowering one group at the expense of another, is not the future. And until people start advancing the country instead of their selfish self interests, than expect to stay mired in the same garbage pile we've created.

    February 23, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Tucson Dean

    Bush I, one war, Bush II, two wars, Bush III, what could possibly go wrong?

    February 23, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Gunderson

    Well, Lessee,
    So fur we don't have a canidate or canidate(s). Soos wew don's know yet. My money is on???? Is Hillary runnin"? is Jeb Runnin'? Iz anybody runnin'? Wes does have som good people on the Repub side, not sure who on the Duzocrat side excep Hillary who no nobody wanted laz tim. Country in huge mess. Hillary fit right in. You wan straighten out country. Good luck, no?

    February 23, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Jesse

    How about no more career politicians no more party lines. Let's make a law when you get elected to office you have to drop republican or democrat and act as you are the connivance of the people for the government and you will not collect pay while in office to do so is treason. Let's make it happen America let's stop whining over this party that party and make a unified congress

    February 23, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. blakenaustin

    CNN and the rest of the far left media shamelessly promotes different RINOs as the front runner or best hope for success for the GOP presidential nomination. We don't need another McCain. Cut the crap! It will take a conservative, not a RINO to defeat whatever loser the Democrats nominate.

    February 23, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. rs

    blakenaustin
    CNN and the rest of the far left media shamelessly promotes different RINOs as the front runner or best hope for success for the GOP presidential nomination. We don't need another McCain. Cut the crap! It will take a conservative, not a RINO to defeat whatever loser the Democrats nominate.
    ____________________
    The astroturf TEA Party has no real "conservatives", just Koch-bought faux radicals. The GOP must moderate to win.

    February 23, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    It'll be an embarrassment for Bush, if he get's involved. No one, not one person (with a brain), want's another Bush in the White House.

    February 23, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Harold Read

    No more Bush's!
    No more Clintons!

    No more DYNASTIES!

    February 23, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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