A CNN/ORC Poll shows Bush surges to 2016 GOP frontrunner.

Bush took first place with 23% in a new nationwide poll, putting him 10 points ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who tallied 13%. Physician Ben Carson comes in third, with 7% support, and Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are both tied for fourth with 6%.

Bush Dumps Corporate Commitments

Jeb Bush has not yet formally announced he is running, but actions suggest a 100% likelihood.

Fearing a  backlash like Romney had with his ties to Bain Capital, Jeb Bush Resigned from All Boards, an action that will cost him as much as a million dollars a year.

I propose, if those board positions mattered ever, then they still matter now. Would it really have mattered if Romney shed all his ties with Bain Capital? Why would it?

If anything, dumping those corporate ties makes it look like there’s some garbage that needs to be hidden. And if there is smelly garbage, it’s 100% likely to surface.

But that’s not how these guys see it.

Please consider Jeb Bush Sheds Corporate Commitments to Help 2016 Presidential Run.

Technically, Jeb Bush – son of President George Bush Sr and younger brother of President George W Bush – is still only “exploring” whether to seek the Republican nomination. But severing his many business ties means forgoing millions of dollars in consultancy earnings and is likely to prove almost as indicative of his determination to follow in family footsteps as did his announcement of a fundraising committee last month.

Disentangling the extensive business interests that Bush has built up since standing down as governor in 2007 has not been a simple exercise. His first major resignation – as an adviser to Barclays following its purchase of Lehman Brothers – was confirmed by the British bank three weeks ago, after questions were raised about whether it and other controversial relationships could prove his achilles heel.

He is also still reviewing what to do about some directly owned business interests such as the consulting firm Jeb Bush & Associates, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the latest news.

Various private equity investments in energy and aviation, made through a company called Britton Hill that is named after the highest point in Florida, were only disclosed last June. At the time, such investments were widely interpreted as a sign that Jeb might have decided to heed his mother Barbara’s advice that there had already been enough Bushes in the White House.

But the Republican establishment is anxious for a well-known candidate to challenge more radical rivals such as senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and the Bush name is seen as the most reliable rallying point for wealthy donors and the business community after the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, was tarnished by a political scandal in 2014.

Who Isn’t Running?

“The more the merrier,” said the Kentucky senator Rand Paul when Bush first announced he was “exploring” a run in December, one of many indications that Paul’s participation in the contest is in as little doubt as that of his equally ambitious conservative colleague Ted Cruz.

The Florida senator Marco Rubio also announced in a New Year’s Day radio interview that he was “spending the holidays thinking about his future”.

The unusually early launch of team Bush was thought to be aimed partly at deterring other establishment competitors such as Rubio and the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, but their public prominence since and Mitt Romney’s strong performance in polling suggests it may have only spurred them on.

And with governors from Indiana’s Mike Pence to Rick Perry of Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin dropping similar hints in recent days, the easier question among top Republicans is who isn’t running?

Republican Establishment Losers

And so the Republican establishment is already rallying around another loser just as they rallied around Mitt Romney.

When does the stupidity end? The next election, like the last, is highly likely to depend on independents, libertarians, and those who want change.

Neither Jeb Bush nor Hillary Clinton offers any change. That pairing would be one of the most disgusting ever.

I support Rand Paul as the only candidate possible to make a difference.

Admittedly it’s too early to make any predictions, but Real Clear Politics shows Clinton beating Bush, Cruz, Paul, Huckabee, Christie, and Ryan, all by substantial margins.

One thing Clinton has going for her is name recognition. There are a lot of people who do not know who some of the Republican candidates are. And there are many feminists who will vote for Hillary just to have a woman in the Whitehouse.

Name recognition will change with the passage of time and with the primaries. What may not change is the willingness of independents to rally behind Bush. I sure won’t, but I won’t vote for Hillary either.

Regardless, if Republicans nominate another Neanderthal instead of someone who represents change, expect to see “no change” another way, with Hillary Clinton as president.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock