CPAC 2015: Can Jeb Bush Win Over Conservatives?

Jeb Bush has set up a killer fundraising operation, likely to dwarf anything the rest of the prospective Republican presidential field can do.

But that won’t guarantee him the 2016 GOP nomination. Mr. Bush, scion of the party’s most powerful family, needs to win over conservative activists – or at least enough of them to beat the competition when primaries and caucuses begin in a year.

Enter the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, the Super Bowl of "movement conservative" activism. The confab begins Wednesday at a conference center just outside the Beltway and is the first big cattle call of the 2016 presidential race. Bush’s appearance at CPAC on Friday – a question-and-answer session with Fox News host Sean Hannity – may be the most consequential event of the entire four-day conference. 

“He is trying to overcome the talk radio meme that he’s a squishy RINO who won’t fight,” says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, using the acronym for “Republican In Name Only.” On Bush’s unorthodox-for-the-GOP views on immigration and education, “he’s going to have to start to get buy-in.”

Read more from Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor 

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Analysis & Political Strategy