Why Would Jeb Want to Narrow the Field?

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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The More the Merrier for Jeb: Both Chris Christie and Marco Rubio are feeling a certain amount of pressure not to run for President. Christie’s been targeted in stories about how he’s losing donors, dropping from the top tier, etc. (Never mind that, as Howard Kurtz pointed out, it’s entirely possible to lose the “donor primary” and win the race if you get hot with voters at the right time.) Rubio, were told, is being urged to run for reelection to help prevent Democrats from winning the Senate. No doubt Jeb Bush’s extensive network had nothing to do with stoking either of these stories. … P.S.: But should Bush really want to push Rubio and Christie and other rivals out? Jeb isn’t doing terribly well in the polls, and his chances for winning would seem enhanced if the field is fragmented.  The worst thing for Jeb would be if there is a single, viable anti-Bush candidate,  especially if the anti-Bush candidate has contrasting views on immigration. Politico recently surveyed “insiders” who felt Jeb could win their states despite” supporting some form of legal status” for illegal immigrants — with a caveat:

“If the field is fragmented enough, and I think it will be, then yes,” said an Iowa Republican.

Why would Bush want to un-fragment the field?  Like a black belt in karate, he can ward off 9 enemies, but only if they attack in the right array…. Come back Herman Cain! …

Update: You might argue (as one of my emailers does) that Christie and Rubio are somehow competing for the same moderate/conservative/establishment vote, so Bush must get them out of the race. But that assumes a) Bush will get the Christie and Rubio voters. What if they’re for Christie or Rubio because they are “we want a fresh face” voters?; and b) Christie and Rubio, if they stay in, don’t pull many votes away from, say Cruz and Walker. Isn’t the overlap between Christie and Walker, at least, pretty extensive?


Euphemism of the Day: “analytically incomplete.”


I would say this was mindless content generated by a desperate @Vox to please a sponsor, but it had one helpful tip. ….


Mickey Kaus