by Tony Lee 18 Mar 2014
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sees an opening in the 2016 field and is seriously considering an attempt to become the third member of his family to occupy the White House.
Those in Bush's inner circle have said that he has not ruled out a run as he has in previous cycles.
A Republican strategist told Reuters that Bush "has not given anyone the wave-off at this point" for 2016 and his "inner circle" is "at the beginning of a very serious conversation."
"He's really giving it true consideration," the strategist said. "Possibly if you'd asked two years ago, we'd say, 'Oh gosh, I don't think he'd do this.' But I think he's giving it a real, serious look now."
Former Republican Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) also indicated that Bush is "leaning toward joining what promises to be a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders."
According to the Reuters report, Bush's enhanced travel schedule is also fueling speculation that he is testing the waters for a potential run. His "itinerary for the next several weeks includes stops in Tennessee, New Mexico and Nevada to appear with Republican candidates in this fall's elections or help them raise money for their campaigns." He will then speak "at a dinner ahead of a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting featuring several potential Republican presidential contenders at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas," which is owned by "casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave over $100 million to Republican candidates in 2012."
Though Bush may be the establishment's top choice after the "Bridgegate" scandals that have engulfed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a national Washington Post-ABC News poll found that half of the country would "definitely" not vote for Bush in a general election.