I’ve been saying for some time that if Jeb Bush is smart he’ll want the VP nomination in 2008 — not the Presidential nomination. The GOP presidential nomination in 2008 will be a poisoned chalice (unless the Dems do something suicidal like nominate Sen. Clinton, and maybe even then if voters see the Senator as a stalking horse for the ex-President). I figure that Jeb! (as he likes to be known) is too smart to want the role of sacrificial lamb. Plus if anyone would inherit all the tar of the current administration it’s surely a relative. No, the nomination is for someone else.
But the Vice Presidential nomination is perfect: If the ticket wins, you are heir apparent. If the ticket loses you are not blamed, and are on the inside track for 2012. More importantly, by being the Veep nominee, Jeb! prevents any rival from having that pole position in 2012. It’s a no-lose proposition.
And it looks like Jeb! gets it: In State: An interview with an upbeat governor he doesn’t rule it out:
The only thing I have said is I’m not running for the United States Senate, I’m not running for president.”
Pressed about whether he’d be as clear in ruling out a vice presidential run, the governor demurred: “That’s a nuance. . . . I just told you what I said.”