In the last 48 hours, the speculation over a Jeb Bush VP nod has been burning up internet connections all over the country.
It started in an interview with Newsmax, when he mentioned would consider the bottom of the ticket. This set the twitterverse on fire and sent reporters and bloggers sprinting to their keyboards. He clarified in an email later that day that he was not going to be the Vice-Presidential pick.
“I am not going to be the veep nominee,” Bush said in an e-mailed statement Friday. “Lay that to rest.”
Another popular pick, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has used similar language. But, here’s the point.
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio both say they won’t be the Vice-Presidential pick but they haven’t gone on the record saying they would decline an offer.
True, it wouldn’t sound very good if any of the VP picks came out in the media and announced they would turn down a Mitt Romney offer but, this stone-walling shouldn’t be interpreted as a solid “no”.
It’s a pity. A Jeb nomination could unite the party like few other candidates could. Heck, he was a consistently approached about running himself.
Florida grew under his watch. He fortified the state as the number 1 tourist destination in the world and who could forget his leadership during the trio of hurricanes which pummeled the region in 2004. He was respected by both parties and enjoyed strong approval numbers during his two terms.
There is the name. The “Bush brand” hasn’t recovered and the rest of the country won’t understand that Jeb is not W. and that’s a tragedy.
He could deliver Florida, and has positioned himself above the primary rhetoric the Obama campaign will try to revive on the trail to Election day. He’s also suggested Marco Rubio as a possibility and vice versa. A political “bromance” that makes both of them look good.
It’s still early and the search has only begun. Besides Bush, Rubio, Senator Rob Portman from Ohio (my predicted pick), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (my second pick behind Rubio), NJ Governor Chris Christie, and Budget Guru Rep. Paul Ryan are all strong possibilities.