First on The Page: Bush 41 + Barbara to host Huntsman at Maine seaside compound Monday.
“41 has received the GOP candidates who have asked for a courtesy meeting so far. Pawlenty went by the Houston office a few weeks ago. Huntsman wasn’t back from China in time to do the meeting there as well.”
The members of BushWorld (the family's political and policy advisers, its bundlers -- and 41, 43, and would-be 45 themselves) still don't have a candidates in the Republicans' 2012 presidential race. These are not a group of disinterested observers. Some are with Mitt Romney. Many are pressing Mitch Daniels to run. But most of them are searching for an answer to the question "Who can be nominated and beat Barack Obama?" If Daniels doesn't run (and even if he does...), Huntsman might end up being the consensus BushWorld candidate. Within the Republican Party, that remains the largest source of nomination throw-weight out there. Huntsman is playing an aggressive inside game, mirroring his long weekend in New England with many public events. Over the next few weeks, he will go from coast-to-coast doing more prospecting for campaign cash. And BushWorld is watching closely. The semiotics and symbolism of giving Huntsman a Kennebunkport audience are not lost on the very sophisticated Bushes.
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