▪ “I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States.” — Republican Jeb Bush announcing his decision to create a committee that will check out a potential 2016 bid.
Bush’s announcement instantly energizes a primary race that will draw intense attention beginning early next year. He will be the establishment’s candidate and a guy who could win the whole enchilada. Let’s be clear: Once a candidate forms a committee to “explore” the possibility, they rarely, if ever, back away.
▪ “If we nominate another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole or a John McCain or a Mitt Romney — and let me be clear, all three of those men, they’re good men, they’re honorable men, they’re decent men, they’re men of character, they’re war heroes — but what they did didn’t work.” — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday warning the GOP not to nominate a candidate like Bush or any other moderate candidate for president.
Cruz, a conservative Republican who may run himself, was crystal clear: Nominate a moderate, and Hillary Clinton is the next president.
▪ “We plan to implement a one-year cooling off period for legislators before they can become lobbyists, providing time to negate any potential undue influence carried over from one side to the other.” — Missouri state Rep. Caleb Rowden, a Columbia Republican, on an ethics bill he’s sponsoring in the 2015 session. (link courtesy of johncombest.com).
This is a solid, common-sense provision. So are other ones in Rowden’s bill that would require more reporting by organizations that spend big on political activity and bar lawmakers from accepting lobbyist gifts.
▪ “We’ll move forward and hopefully be able to pass a very important job-creating bill early in the session.” — incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying Tuesday that dealing with the Keystone XL pipeline will be the Senate’s first order of business in 2015.
McConnell argued that the country already has 19 pipelines crossing the Mexican or Canadian borders, and there’s been no measurable harm to the environment.