RUSH: Speaking of my dream presidential ticket in 2016, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton. If you missed it I made the announcement exactly one hour ago, with full reasoning, I mean, irrefutable logic. But you know our old buddy Nate Silver at the FiveThirtyEight blog, the wunderkind that used to be the analyst of polls at the New York Times. Readers of the New York Times loved Nate Silver because he gave them comfort. He analyzed all the polls and he accurately forecast an Obama reelection victory in 2012.
Well, Nate Silver saw the handwriting on the wall and left the New York Times, and he’s now doing his analyst magic at ESPN. Well, not just ESPN. He’s got his own blog called the FiveThirtyEight, and he made a submission or a post yesterday. And the headline of Nate Silver’s most recent post at his FiveThirtyEight blog is: “Is Jeb Bush Too Liberal To Win The Republican Nomination In 2016?
“On Tuesday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced that he will ‘actively explore’ a bid for the White House. While Bush has not yet formed a presidential exploratory committee, heÂ’s ‘running’ for president by any practical definition of the term. If he proves to perform poorly in the ‘invisible primary,’ failing to gather support among donors and influential Republicans, he could withdraw later on, before the first votes are cast in Iowa.
“What might those influential Republicans think of Bush? He has sometimes been critical of his fellow Republicans, having questioned the GOPÂ’s partisanship and lack of tolerance for dissenting viewpoints. He has also staked out moderate policy positions on some issues, particularly immigration and education reform. But is Bush in the mold of Jon Huntsman and Rudy Giuliani — candidates who generated lots of buzz among the East Coast media elite but proved too moderate for the Republican base? Or is he more like the past two Republican nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain, who also were accused of being too moderate but won their partyÂ’s nomination?”
Can we study that paragraph here for just a second? This is Nate Silver. If Nate Silver’s anything, he’s a liberal. This is not a factor here, though. But the one thing that’s clear, Nate Silver’s not a conservative, so we can’t assume that he’s got any pro-conservative bias here. This paragraph’s amazing in trying to analyze where Jeb Bush falls in a chart of conservative identity among Republican presidential contenders. And there is a chart that companies this, but charts are very hard to translate in the spoken word. But the chart essentially looks at several Republican presidents and nominees — Chris Christie, Huntsman, Nixon, Condi Rice, Bob Dole, Jeb Bush, Suzanna Martinez, and ranks them on a number of factors as to just how conservative they are.
For example, Ronaldus Magnus, Ronald Reagan, everybody thinks is a massive big time conservative, is probably right in the middle of the pack. He has a conservative rating in Nate Silver’s chart of about 50%. Just to give you an idea of how Nate Silver has worked this out, the most conservative in his calculation is Barry Goldwater at about 68, scale of zero to a hundred, a hundred being more conservative, zero being less, Goldwater is number one at 68. But there are a couple of people that are to the right of Goldwater on a couple things, Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann.
Jeb Bush shows up around you’d have to say 40%, or 40 out of a hundred in terms of how conservative is Jeb Bush, and that’s very close to Gerald Ford and Bob Dole, but it’s definitely more conservative than Huntsman, Nixon, Condoleezza Rice. It’s very close to McCain and Romney and so forth. So that’s Silver’s point here. Where does Jeb Bush come, where does he fall in our analysis of how conservative various Republicans are?
And this paragraph is fascinating. “But is Bush in the mold of Jon Huntsman and Rudy Giuliani?” What do you need to know beyond the fact that both of them lost? What more is important? Both Huntsman and Giuliani lost the primary races that they entered. They were candidates who did generate a lot of buzz in the East Coast media and in certain elements of the Drive-Bys. But conservative voters were not interested. Or it says, is Jeb more like the past two nominees, Romney and McCain? Well, all four of those people lost. That’s the take-away of this paragraph. All four: Huntsman, Giuliani, McCain, Romney, and arguably — well, Giuliani and Huntsman never came close ’cause they got the nomination. Romney and McCain did, but they didn’t come close.
So we are, in a blog here at FiveThirtyEight, we’re ranking Jeb Bush against four other men who have lost or failed to succeed in getting a nomination or did get the nomination but lost the election. Now, isn’t there a lesson there? The establishment keeps telling us, “No, no, no, you Tea Party people, look at what happened to Barry Goldwater, we’ll get creamed. You people are extremist kooks! America thinks the Tea Party is a bunch of kooks, and if we have a nominee coming from you, why, we’re gonna get creamed. We’re gonna have a landslide like Goldwater.”
And, of course, the retort is, “Yeah, well, the people you are nominating, I don’t see a W next to their names at the end of the process. You guys can cite one: Barry Goldwater. We can cite every one of your nominees. They lose, every one of them.” But, nevertheless, the process continues here to rank Jeb and other Republicans on this imaginary chart of conservatism.
I’ll tell you who looks really good on this chart. Let me just cut to the chase here. And not just the chart, but in the article. I’ll tell you who looks really good here. Scott Walker. Now, I wonder, does the establishment think Scott Walker is a Tea Party kook? They might. I’m gonna tell you something. If the Republican Party has a success story, it’s Scott Walker. If the Republican Party has a blueprint, it’s Scott Walker. Here is a guy who has withstood the absolute best forms of personal destruction the left can throw at anybody, and he survived three attempts.
And in addition to surviving, he succeeded in his policy implementations to totally turn upside down the way Wisconsin is run, and he took a dark blue state and made it almost red. I mean, it’s not quite. Little purple in there. If you ask me, Scott Walker, I mean, they should have been issuing press releases and videos and little helpful hint videos to other candidates: Here’s how you do it videos, here’s how you win. And there’s not a word about him. And I just wonder if they think that Scott Walker is too Tea Party at the Republican establishment. I don’t know.
If I had to guess based on experience, guided by intelligence, I don’t see a lot of excitement for Scott Walker. The excitement at the Republican establishment is Bush, Romney. Who else? Christie. That’s who they’re getting all jazzed about.
RUSH: From The Politico. Oh! And speaking of which, folks, just a little heads-up for those of you that have not figured this out. If you want to know in the mainstream media what is actually going on at the higher upper levels of the Republican Party, read about it in The Politico. I am convinced The Politico is the go-to place for the Republican establishment to get their news out. It is in The Politico where you read all the cutting comments about the Tea Party. It’s The Politico where you read all the rosy articles and comments about the Republican moderates, moderate candidates.
You check it out on your own and you will find that the establishment types in the party are either leaking to or have a relationship with The Politico. When The Politico writes about the Republican establishment, the Republican Party, it’s probably from an informed rather than speculative basis. And a Politico story from this morning: “Money Men Cheer Bush News — In one swift move, Jeb Bush showed his fundraising prowess without raising a dollar. A number of top tier donors reacted to the RepublicanÂ’s announcement on Facebook that he would ‘actively explore the possibility’ of running for president with genuine enthusiasm — and even relief.”
How does Politico know this?
“Some of the GOPÂ’s top donors and operatives have been pushing Bush to get into the race, or were holding their breath and hoping he would — and they interpreted his Facebook post on Tuesday as a signal that all systems were a go. It amounted to an instant impediment for possible rivals like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose chances of amassing a national fundraising network necessary to mount a credible campaign just dimmed. … Others said itÂ’s bad news for the rest of the Republican field.” (interruption) What do you mean, it’s a little bit BS? That’s not the point whether it’s BS or not.
The point is, The Politico is where you learn what’s actually going on at the establishment. Not National Review, not the Weekly Standard, take your pick of whatever else you think is conservative, Politico is where you go to find out.
Audio sound bite number eight, Rick Davis, former campaign manager for John McCain on CBS This Morning. Nancy Cordes, the reporterette who ran that feature on me claiming I was fuming in reacting to Bush’s announce yesterday, which I didn’t fume. I wasn’t up in arms or any of that. But Nancy Cordes said to the former McCain campaign manager, “Why announce anything now, Rick? Why would Jeb do it now, right before the holidays?”
DAVIS: He was cross-pressured by the Mitt Romney boom occurring this weekend, which were donors calling all around saying, “Jeb, if you don’t get in, I’m gonna go with Mitt, ’cause Mitt’s calling around.”
RUSH: Gotta take a break. But, see, I told you. I told you.