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The Lid: Jeb Bush Doubles Down on Electability

Image: Jeb Bush

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, upper left, poses for a selfie with a supporter as he signs autographs from the window of a food truck after he formally announced that he would join the race for president. Wilfredo Lee / AP

Welcome to The Lid!, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…Jeb Bush launched a presidential campaign Monday aimed at answering the simple question: Can something become more exciting simply by adding an exclamation point to the end of it?!

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'16 AT 30 THOUSAND

Jeb (see also: Jeb!) Bush’s team made something very clear during his rally on Monday: He is doubling down on the electability argument. As the former president of the Florida State Senate said while introducing Bush, “Jeb Bush is the Florida Republican who can win.” (Cc: Marco Rubio). The “I’m the guy who can win” argument is especially tricky because it doesn’t always square well with the activists and primary voters a candidate needs to win the early caucus and primary states. That’s been Jeb Bush’s problem throughout the invisible primary --he has been unapologetic about things like his support for Common Core and his softer immigration stance, and he is going to get hit hard on it by his dozen or so opponents. Another factor not helping Bush’s electability argument is the polls. There has been little compelling evidence so far for Republicans voters to believe that Bush would have the advantage in a head-to-head matchup with Clinton.

Sure, he’ll have plenty of money and be in it for the long haul -- and his candidacy will automatically make Florida competitive come next November. But GOP voters are skeptical, especially after a rocky two months for the former Florida governor. Now that Bush is really in, he needs to show how he can beat the Democratic nominee -- whoever it may be.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

Jeb Bush made his 2016 run official in Miami.

Despite being pressed on the issue while campaigning in New Hampshire, Clinton again declined to take a position on trade, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.

She presented what was “essentially a more aggressive and liberal version of Barack Obama's presidency,” NBC’s Perry Bacon wrote.

MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt and Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner recap Romney’s weekend retreat where current and potential candidates competed for cash.

First Read looks at some of the other similarities between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton beyond their famous last name.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

TRUMP: He will declare a $9 billion net worth ahead of his likely presidential announcement on Tuesday, the Washington Post reports.

CLINTON: She proposed more funding for early childhood education during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Bloomberg writes.

RUBIO: The Florida senator welcomed his friend turned rival Jeb Bush into the race.

FOR THE RECORD…

“Sorry about that, Bernie!”

  • GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham, who dubbed a clay pigeon “Bernie Sanders” while skeet shooting at the Romney retreat.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Donald Trump will make his 2016 campaign announcement at Trump Towers in New York City at 11am ET.

Jeb Bush holds a campaign rally in New Hampshire and will be on Jimmy Fallon.

Jim Webb holds events in Des Moines, Iowa.