Matt Towery

After the not so "Super" Tuesday results, pundits and experts predicted a much longer march to the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa, Fla. Many experts believe Mitt Romney will ultimately gain the required delegates to win the nomination prior to the convention. But talk of a so-called "open" convention, where no candidate has the needed votes and delegates might be free to choose the candidate of their own personal preference is increasing, as well.

The likelihood of such a scenario actually playing out remains relatively low. But should Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum capture the Texas primary, which by virtue of having been moved farther back of the schedule can qualify as a "winner take all" state, the race could be placed in a tailspin.

Dissatisfaction with the current GOP field seems high, but can easily be written off to candidates who have been overexposed through too many debates and a goofy string of "proportional" primaries and caucuses virtually guaranteed to make the candidates battle to the death. Regardless, the longer this GOP presidential road show lasts, the greater the chances that something occurs to actually force Republicans to abandon their "field of dreams" and examine alternatives.

Should this bizarre concept of a late summer brokered convention conducted in the hottest days in Florida actually take place, there are plenty of names that would be added to the current mix of candidates, including Sarah Palin, who explicitly said that she would not shut the door on a nomination should it come her way. Palin has won over a vast number of conservative and Republican skeptics in the past few years by serving as a steady and thoughtful voice for her party. But I have a guess as to the name that the delegates, if given the choice to be free to choose on their own, would gravitate to in a hurry. That name is Jeb Bush.

It's not that the former Florida governor wants the thing. If Bush has plans for the White House, it would likely be four years from now, if at all. But given the fact that the nominee would have only two solid months to campaign against an increasingly strong Barack Obama, who will have money to spare and a media declaring the economy on a roll, it would take a seasoned superstar to rescue the GOP. The idea of a national convention filled with fighting and bargaining would be too much for anyone but a huge name with built-in connections and not a part of the war to survive.

Jeb Bush left his position as governor a very popular man. He was viewed by most as a conservative, creative and extremely savvy leader. The Republican-dominated legislature sometimes viewed him as a bit heavy handed, but that comes with the territory when one is a governor.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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