All is quiet in Democratic presidential politics, as Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton: Trump must speak out against hate crimes, threats Piers Morgan trolls Oscars: 'Chin up, La La Land... you won the popular vote' Trump's clueless rhetoric on nukes makes US vulnerable, not safer MORE nestles in to her campaign-to-come, save for Bill ClintonBill ClintonFinally, an immigration reform bill that tackles family migration 5 ways politics could steal the show at Oscars Clinton: Dems will be 'strong, unified' with Perez MORE now taking shots at President Obama on his wife's behalf. But in the Republican Party, elected officials keeping their options open are making it perfectly clear that campaign season has already begun.
Note this week that:
1. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie officially took the reins at the Republican Governors Association, the perfect perch for a presidential wannabe, and surprised the other 2016 wannabes and GOP governors in the room with a surprise guest: President George W. Bush. Bush talked about his experiences as governor and president and took the assembled governors' questions. What does this mean? That Christie is making sure to warm up to the Bush family so that should Jeb, who is now flirting with a 2016 campaign, decide not to run, Christie will be the anointed one on the establishment side, with enthusiastic support from Bush-world. Will he earn it? Perhaps not, but its a great strategy.
3. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is asking for his share of attention with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal titled "How to win the Obama-Walker voters." In it Walker suggests the Republican Party need not abandon its principles in order to win over the middle, but that "the way to the center is to lead." You will be hearing more on this kind of leadership from Walker as soon as he wins his second term next November.
4. Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulConquering Trump returns to conservative summit Rand Paul rejects label of 'Trump's most loyal stooge' GOP healthcare plans push health savings account expansion MORE (Ky.) couldn't hear one more word about Christie's front-runner status, now that the governor's won a second term in a blue state with more than 60 percent of the vote, including winning the Latino vote. Why else would Paul, when repeating that he has asked Christie to have a beer to patch up their "feud" carried out in the media, say this week to a radio host, "I have been trying to get him to go out for a beer with me anyway. So maybe you can get that organized. Or if there's a state fair, we can go for a fried Twinkie." So cheap, Sen. Paul, so cheap.
5. Cruz met with Donald TrumpDonald Trump6 steps for Republicans to show up at their own town halls and win Gates, Buffett: Immigrants add ‘to the greatness of the country’ EU commissioner defends Trump aide against 'false' attacks MORE. Cheap as well.
WHAT WILL THE NUCLEAR OPTION MEAN FOR THE SENATE GOING FORWARD? AskAB returns Tuesday, Dec. 3. Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.