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December 11, 2014

Christmas Comes Early!

By which I mean it certainly appears as if Mitt Romney is running.

How can I tell? Attacks on rivals.

Remember all that crap about Romney wishing to defer to Jeb Bush, and not run if Jeb Bush is running?

Yeah that's no longer operative.

In his private musings, Romney has sounded less than upbeat about most of the potential candidates in the 2016 Republican field, according to the people who’ve spoken with him, all of whom asked for anonymity in order to speak freely.

He has assessed various people’s strengths and weaknesses dispassionately, wearing what one ally called his “consultant cap” to measure the field. He has said, among other things, that Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, would run into problems because of his business dealings, his work with the investment banks Lehman Brothers and Barclays, and his private equity investments.

"You saw what they did to me with Bain [Capital],"he has said, referring to the devastating attacks that his Republican rivals and President Obama’s team launched against him for his time in private equity, according to three sources familiar with the line. "What do you think they’ll do to [Bush] over Barclays?"

...

"I came away from the conversation with the distinct impression that he was running and that he did not think anyone in the field right now was particularly strong," said one top [Wall Street] executive who met with Romney and requested not to be identified while speaking about a private conversation.

...

Romney and his people are apparently talking up a storm about this Bloomberg report, headlined Jeb Bush has a Mitt Romney problem, except of course Mitt & the Boys say Jeb's problem is worse.

The article claims that Jeb is very vulnerable on stuff like having his money invested in China, or having some money overseas in tax shelters. It is further claimed:

Until now, many people have assumed that Bush's greatest challenge would be dispelling the perception among Republican primary voters that he’s a moderate in a party dominated by right-wing conservatives. In the wake of Romney's bruising 2012 loss, however, Bush's overseas funds, mysterious investors, and foreign entanglements could prove harder to overcome. As a budding private equity mogul, he’s begun to resemble a Mini-Mitt. Bush declined to be interviewed for this article.

"Running as the second coming of Mitt Romney is not a credential that’s going to play anywhere, with Republicans or Democrats," says John Brabender, a Republican consultant and veteran of presidential campaigns. "Not only would this be problematic on the campaign trail, I think it also signals someone who isn't seriously looking at the presidency or he wouldn’t have gone down this path."

Back to the Politico article on Mitt. Jeb's defenders snap back at such comparisons:

"Jeb's wealth and investments are nothing on the scale of Romney's. He is not building car elevators in Malibu mansions," this person said, offering a hint of the bitterness that could ensue if both Romney and Bush run.

We won't have to wait that long to see that bitterness:

There will be "no fetal position" from Bush, said the source, a reference to Romney's decision to wait until he had been defined by Democrats to start hitting back and defining himself.

See? Romney and Bush throwing rabbit-punches into each other's kidneys.

Early Christmas.


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posted by Ace at 07:34 PM

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