Jeb in 2016

I was recently asked to assess Jeb Bush’s chances in 2016 (for my Slovakian fans) and I had to admit to more uncertainty on the matter than usual.  Jeb is a really interesting case.  I think Nate Cohn highlights what makes him so in a recent Upshot post:

Mr. Bush’s positions on immigration and education are certainly challenges, but probably overrated ones. Tone and message, not the specifics of his policy agenda, will probably determine whether he can strike the balance necessary to appeal to the party’s donors without losing too much ground among staunch conservatives…

John McCain won the Republican nomination in 2008 by running as a “maverick.” In the years before his campaign, he co-sponsored an immigration reform bill and a plan to regulate carbon emissions. He bashed “extremists on the right” in a previous presidential race…

Four years later, Mitt Romney won the nomination even though he had enacted a health care plan that served as the model for the Affordable Care Act. He had supported a long list of liberal positions in his various runs for statewide office in Massachusetts. Heading into this year’s contest, Chris Christie, another rival for the support of mainline, establishment-friendly Republicans, has committed equal or perhaps graver blasphemies on gun control and immigration…

The best part is that Cohn gets the “invisible primary” that political scientists have increasingly argued is really the key to understanding presidential nominations:

The real challenge for Mr. Bush is negotiating the competing pressures of the so-called invisible primaries and the actual ones. The invisible primary is the competition for the support of party officials and donors with the influence and money necessary to propel a candidate toward the party’s nomination. A candidate who wins the invisible primary decisively almost always goes on to win the nomination.

Mr. Bush’s biggest asset is the extent to which he seems to appeal to the fairly moderate business-oriented and mainline officials and donors who have outsize influence in the invisible primary…

The catch, of course, is that the source of Mr. Bush’s appeal among the Republican donor class is a message and tone that often seems close to attacking conservatives as ideologues…

It is an arduous path to victory. But candidates with the favor of the establishment have won nearly every recent nominating contest for a reason: It brings big advantages. And the Republican establishment doesn’t appear to have too many other choices. If top G.O.P. donors are indeed choosing between Mr. Bush, Mr. Christie and Mr. Romney, they might not have a better option than Mr. Bush.

But Mr. Bush is not a particularly strong candidate either. He may have friends in the donor class, but he hasn’t run for office in a decade, and he enters with no base of support among the G.O.P. primary electorate.

Support of the establishment is key, but I wonder how much the establishment may be skeptical of throwing their support behind a candidate who is anathema (potentially) to the Tea Party.  It’s not like the establishment is going to completely ignore the Tea Party.  Sure, they are not simply going to choose the Tea Party guy, but it seems to me that McCain and Romney found ways and signifiers (Romney was always going out of his way to be the most anti-Obama) to become acceptable in a way that I wonder if Jeb will be able to.  We’ll see, of course, but regardless of how much the Chamber of Commerce types like Jeb, I would definitely put my money on it not being him.

Also two nice posts on the matter from Hans Noel, who is Mr. Invisible Primary.

The best exercise is just like the best diet

Nice post at Vox summarizing the science on exercise.  And the key?  Pretty much the same key as diet:

Like the best diet for weight loss, the people who research exercise all told me that there is no single best way to go about exercising: just find a workout you can tolerate.

“A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work,” said Alex Hutchinson, author of the book Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? “The best exercise for people is one they are going to adopt and do on a regular basis. If that means getting out for a walk with the dog every night and you can commit to that and stick to it, then do it.” …

According to sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald, author of the books Diet Cults and 80/20 Running, the single biggest predictor of whether someone will stick to a new routine is simply whether they like it or not. “Those who say they enjoyed their workout the most are more likely to keep exercising after a year,” he said.

They also point out that, yes, exercise is great and has all sorts of health benefits, but is way less important than diet when it comes to weight loss.  Yes, exercise will help with weight loss, but it all starts with eating right.

Photo of the day

From a Wired gallery of best photos of microscopic life:

3rd Prize: Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA
Subject: Barnacle appendages
Technique: Confocal microscopy
Magnification: 100x


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