Today one of the major political news stories was the announcement that Jeb Bush will officially announce he’s running for president on June 15. If that sentence seems redundant, it’s only to reflect the absurdity in which political candidates delay officially entering the 2016 race. Bush’s candidacy has been expected for months. He’s a frontrunner in the polls. He just hasn’t made it official yet.
Bush teased the announcement on Twitter in both English and Spanish-language posts indicating that something major would be “coming soon.” “Join us on June 15 in Miami for a big announcement,” one tweet reads. A website for supporters to RSVP to the event, www.jebannouncement.com, has even been established. For the next 11 days, however, Bush is not an official candidate. Despite all of the hype he’s built around himself for the past several months, he’s still just "actively exploring the possibility" of running.
Bush has yet to officially declare his candidacy for an entirely calculated reason. By speaking at events and raising money at fundraisers before officially declaring intent to run, candidates can avoid restrictions on contributions and disclosure rules. The rules regarding what establishes an individual as a candidate aren’t entirely clear, and it’s unlikely that Bush could be penalized for his actions. Still, it remains entirely obvious that he’s always had the intention of launching a 2016 bid.
As recently as Sunday, when faced with the question on CBS’s Face The Nation as to whether there’s even a possibility he would not run, Bush had the following to say: “Look, I hope I run, to be honest with you. I would like to run. But I haven’t made the decision.” As the New York Times reports, Bush also had to answer the direct question of whether or not he has been violating the law by traveling to Iowa and New Hampshire, raising money from supporters. “No, of course not,” Bush said. “I would never do that.”
A few weeks ago, Bush nearly slipped on the flimsy justification that he’s been using to avoid campaign finance restrictions. “I’m running for president in 2016, and the focus is going to be about how we, if I run, how do you create high sustained economic growth,” Bush said during a speaking engagement in Nevada, according to Reuters. His honest statement, followed by his quick cover-up, shows just how ridiculous his entire approach to the 2016 election has been. Unlike Rand Paul or Marco Rubio, Bush doesn’t need to enter the race early in order to get his name out to the voters. It’s been on people’s minds since his father served as president, and he’s been a frontrunner in the race the entire time. Hopefully the 12 percent of supporters (the highest amongst Republican candidates, tied with Scott Walker) who claim they will vote for Bush in the Republican primaries will come to their senses by the time his “official” campaign gets underway.
Image Source: SCPR