Wall Street Republicans’ dark secret: Hillary Clinton 2016
The biggest parlor game on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms these days is guessing whether former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will run for president and save the GOP’s old establishment base from its rising populist wing. The second most popular game is guessing what happens if Jeb says no. Two dozen interviews about the 2016 race with unaligned GOP donors, financial executives and their Washington lobbyists turned up a consistent—and unusual—consolation candidate if Bush demurs, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t recover politically, and no other establishment favorite gets nominated: Hillary Clinton. The darkest secret in the big money world of the Republican coastal elite is that the most palatable alternative to a nominee such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky would be Clinton, a familiar face on Wall Street following her tenure as a New York senator with relatively moderate views on taxation and financial regulation. “If it turns out to be Jeb versus Hillary we would love that and either outcome would be fine,” one top Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer said over lunch in midtown Manhattan last week. “We could live with either one. Jeb versus Joe Biden would also be fine. It’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody’s worst nightmare.” Politico, 4-28-14.