It must be said that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) had a not-so-good week there toward the end, waffling on Iraq. "Jell-O," said The Washington Post's Dana Milbank (and "afraid of his shadow and nakedly calculating"). "GOP lawmakers flabbergasted," said The Hill. "Does Jeb Bush even really want to be US president?" asked The Telegraph.
Possibly not. But coincidentally, 2012 Republican nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team Put partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately Trump remembers former 'Apprentice' contestant Meat Loaf: 'Great guy' MORE had a very good day on Friday, there in the ring bare-chested — his shirt ripped off him — going mano-a-mano, as Ernest Hemingway liked to say, against the great and good former undisputed world champion Evander Holyfield. And was there ever a better sport than Romney for accepting that challenge?
Holyfield and Romney's Charity Vision fight may have suddenly jogged a collective shift away from a long, painful conservative brain freeze. Conservatives, said Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), are experiencing Bush fatigue. But this is the question which will now be quietly, surreptitiously asked, and asked with increased anxiety: If we are finally tiring of Bushes and Clintons and the old irrelevant families, are we not still just getting used to Romney? Does America maybe just need Mitt Romney?
Because it may be now that we are finally coming out of the mental lag, laziness and abdication of the citizen's responsibility that has led us to such acquiescence in accepting the old families. But now if Jeb Bush is circling the drain, there is only one candidate left in the proposed lineup for 2016 who registers in the first rank, governor of a large "initiative" state: former Texas Gov. Rick PerryRick PerryTrump's relocation of the Bureau of Land Management was part of a familiar Republican playbook What we've learned from the Meadows documents Trump war with GOP seeps into midterms MORE (R), who draws only 2.8 percent in New Hampshire primary polls.
The higher marks are going to spirited newcomers: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Kentucky Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 I'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN MORE (R), Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPut partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine MORE (R) and Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHillicon Valley — Senate panel advances major antitrust bill Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine MORE (R), a rising generation with impressive new thinking. But as a supporter of much of that thinking, I would suggest that the new generation has not yet fully formed as a political entity and none of these are likely to beat possible Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The 2014 race brought in talented Republican others, including Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstUS maintains pressure on Russia amid concerns of potential Ukraine invasion Sunday shows - Russia standoff over Ukraine dominates GOP senator says US should impose sanctions on Russia MORE of Iowa and Ben SasseBen SasseBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Democrats outraged after Manchin opposes Biden spending bill MORE of Nebraska, who add maturity, balance, creativity and substance to the new conservative thinking. Republican Rep. Steve RussellSteven (Steve) Dane RussellKendra Horn concedes to Stephanie Bice in Oklahoma, flipping seat back to GOP GOP women's group launches six-figure campaign for House candidate Bice Bice wins Oklahoma GOP runoff to face Horn in November MORE of Oklahoma is a rising champion. Russell will perhaps present the archetype of the rising generation: a mild-mannered and cordial U.S. Army Ranger who served in Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a brilliant writer, thinker and orator.
This group will advance conservatism to its future and its only future and most likely it will be America's future as well. But it is not of greatest utility to send a new generation to the presidency before it is fully formed, before the true and lasting leaders have emerged and before the generation has affirmed and institutionalized uniform, seasoned positions.
Without Bush, there is left only a thin line of seasoned politicians in the lineup. But recall what happened last August in Iowa. Polls had shown Republican aspirants for 2016 bunched together between 9 and 11 percent. Then after almost offhand comments on the Hugh Hewitt radio program when asked if he would run in 2016, Romney said, "Circumstances can change, but I'm just not going to let my head go there." The press perked up. Then in a USA Today/Suffolk University poll, the former Republican presidential nominee came up with a whopping 35 percent of the vote in an Iowa Republican caucus, while the others remained in single digits.
What if he were put up again today, this week, after playfully taking Evander Holyfield to the mat? He would likely do very well in Iowa, potentially replacing Bush as the establishment representative. Then going to the Romney's second home turf in New Hampshire, he would have it.
There are some things that when they happen, just seem destined to happen.
Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.