Jeb Bush Presidential Bid Challenge: Not Being 'Only Adult In The Room'

If or when Jeb Bush enters the Republican primary presidential race, he will face a much deeper political bench than in 2012, when former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was seen by many as the only responsible choice for the party.

The other "adults" could include the party's rising stars, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, libertarian-minded Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Tea Party favourite Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

And while the potential of a 2016 Bush/Hillary Clinton match up will cause most political observers to salivate, Bush, who announced on Tuesday he will "actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States," could have a challenging time slogging through the primaries.

"His biggest competition is not Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, it's what we call the establishment wing of the Republican party," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. "He’s trying to box out Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and also tamp down the potential pining for Romney. And this is very important because you have to realize the last time he was on a ballot was 2002."

Time, as well, has helped bolster his brother's presidential reputation from where it was when he left office.

"Look to see where George W’s numbers are today," O'Connell said. "Obviously not sky high but they're above water and Obama’s are in the drain. They're not an albatross around his neck the way they were four or eight years ago."

Read more from Mark Gollam at CBC News

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Analysis & Political Strategy