The New York Times says, "Jeb Bush in 2016? Not Too Early for Chatter." Actually, it kind of is too early for chatter—the president hasn't even been inaugurated for the second time, for Christ's sake—but the Times's heart wants what the Times's heart wants:
When Senator Marco Rubio of Florida held a strategy session here to discuss his own political future last week, the question of [Jeb] Bush, a mentor, hung over the room; a decision by Mr. Bush, 59, to seek the Republican nomination would almost certainly halt any plans by Mr. Rubio, 41, to do so or abruptly set off a new intraparty feud.
Mr. Bush is said by friends to be weighing financial and family considerations — between so many years in office and the recession his wealth took a dip, they said, and he has been working hard to restore it — as well as the complicated place within the Republican Party of the Bush brand. Asked this week about whether his father would run, Jeb Bush Jr. told CNN, “I certainly hope so.”
The nomination is Bush's, if he wants it. (Hell, the 2008 nomination was Bush's, if he wanted it. There was a point there, when Santorum and Romney were bloodying each other up around the rust belt, where Bush could've just waltzed in and won the Republican nomination with virtually no effort at all.) But I don't think we're going to see a rehabilitation of George W. Bush anytime soon. Quite a few—maybe a majority—of Republicans are ready to forgive W. for his presidency, but I don't think a majority of the electorate is. Eight years might not be enough to wash the stink off the Bush name, and if Jeb is going to run, he's going to have to embrace his brother, because Romney proved that running away from personal issues isn't a great plan.