Jeb Bush’s Early Days

The Boston Globe runs a profile of Jeb Bush during his high school days at Andover, where both his father and older brother attended.

“But this Bush almost ran aground in those first, formative prep school days. He bore little resemblance to his father, a star on many fronts at Andover, and might have been an even worse student than brother George. Classmates said he smoked a notable amount of pot — as many did — and sometimes bullied smaller students.”

“Resolutely apolitical despite his lineage, he refused to join the Progressive Andover Republicans club and often declined even to participate in informal bull sessions with classmates. In a tumultuous season in American life, he seemed to his peers strangely detached and indifferent… Meanwhile, his grades were so poor that he was in danger of being expelled, which would have been a huge embarrassment to his father, a member of Congress and of the school’s board of trustees.”

Pennsylvania Treasurer Will Plead Guilty

Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord (D) “will plead guilty to federal charges that he used the lure of state business to strongarm political contributors during his failed gubernatorial bid last year,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

McCord, in a video statement, apologized for the mistake: “I stepped over the line by trying to take advantage of the fact that two potential contributors hoped to continue to do business with the Commonwealth – and by developing talking points to remind them that I could make things difficult for them. The mistake and fault here is mine and mine alone.”

London Mayor Calls ISIS ‘Wankers’ Who ‘Look at Porn’

London Mayor Boris Johnson described men who go to fight with Islamic State as “literally wankers” who watch porn because they can’t meet women, the Guardian reports.

Said Johnson: “If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally wankers. Severe onanists. They are not making it with girls and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort – which of course is no comfort.”

He added: “They are just young men in desperate need of self-esteem who do not have a particular mission in life, who feel that they are losers and this thing makes them feel strong – like winners.”

White House Praises Romney

One day after President Obama mocked him in front of House Democrats, the White House “struck a gracious, conciliatory tone” about Mitt Romney‘s decision not to pursue a 2016 presidential campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said White House press secretary Josh Earnest: “Romney is a man of great faith and a man who has tremendous loyalty and commitment to his country, and that is something that is worthy of our respect. I’m confident that the announcement that he made today was a difficult one. I think he acknowledged as much. But it’s also an intensely personal decision that candidates and their families make.”

Strickland Will Make Senate Run

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) will run for the U.S. Senate next year, the Youngstown Vindicator reports.

“Attempts to reach Strickland, a Democrat, by The Vindicator today have been unsuccessful. However, those sources say he told political allies Thursday that he would run in the 2016 Democratic primary for the seat and was spending today talking to high-level donors about his decision.”

Most Americans Want Action on Climate Change

A new New York Times/Stanford University poll finds an overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming.

“In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They are less likely to vote for candidates who question or deny the science of human-caused global warming.”

The Fierce Urgency of Now

Just published: The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society by Julian E. Zelizer

“Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal, one whose ambition and achievement have had no parallel since. In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts; the War on Poverty program; Medicare and Medicaid; the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities; Public Broadcasting; immigration liberalization; a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts; and major federal investments in public transportation.”

Mitt Romney Will Not Run Again

Hugh Hewitt has the text of remarks Mitt Romney will be making to his supporters shortly:

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

New York Times: “By not pursuing a third White House bid, Mr. Romney frees up scores of donors and operatives who had been awaiting his decision, and creates space for other potential center-right candidates such as Jeb Bush.”

Walker Surges in New National Poll

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Mitt Romney leading the Republican presidential field with 21%, followed by Jeb Bush at 17%, Ben Carson at 15%, Scott Walker at 11%, Ted Cruz at 9%, Mike Huckabee at 9%, Chris Christie at 7%, Rand Paul at 4% and Rick Perry at 2%.

Key takeaway: “The biggest winner has to be Scott Walker. His 11% standing appears to be the first time he’s registered at double digits in a national poll. He’s reached that level of support despite having the lowest name recognition of any candidate we tested, which is a pretty good indication that when voters get to know him they’re coming to like him.”

Mitt Romney Doesn’t Think Much of Jeb Bush

Mark Halperin says Mitt Romney has held “a jaundiced view” of Jeb Bush “dating all the way back to his handling of the Terri Schiavo case, and has come to see Bush as a non-entity in the 2016 nomination contest. Romney is said to see Bush as a small-time businessman whose financial transactions would nonetheless be fodder for the Democrats and as terminally weighed down with voters across the board based on his family name. Romney also doesn’t think much of Bush’s political skills (a view mocked by Bush’s camp, who say Romney is nowhere near Bush’s league as a campaigner). Romney also considers Bush the national Republican figure who was the least helpful to him during his last run for the White House, a position that has darkened Ann Romney’s view of Bush as well.”

Why Romney Has to Decide Now

First Read: “No one knows for sure what Romney will announce, but the hunch coming from Romney World is that the former Massachusetts governor is going to give it another try. But here’s why Romney has to make up his mind now: The ground underneath his feet is already beginning to crumble. Just yesterday, we learned that Romney’s top Iowa strategist in 2008 and 2012 — David Kochel — is set to be Jeb Bush’s campaign manager. We also learned, via the AP, that some of Romney’s past donors are jumping aboard the Jeb Train.”

“And get this: We can tell you that folks whom Romney has invited on this call are already planning to work for Bush. (Remember, a lot of these people have been connected to the Bush World longer than to Romney.) So if Romney is going to do this, he needs to make a clear statement ASAP (and don’t be surprised if it comes in the form of a PAC or other committee). It’s not too dissimilar for what Jeb had to do a couple of months ago: convince skeptical politicos and donors that you’re actually in the race.”

Sources tell the Daily Beast that Romney will announce that he’s running for president again.