2016, here they come

All is quiet in Democratic presidential politics, as Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonRepublicans to release Benghazi report Tuesday Sanders's Nevada director floated two-sided coins for tiebreaks: report Benghazi Blues MORE nestles in to her campaign-to-come, save for Bill ClintonBill ClintonPoll: Voters divided on role of government in gun control Trump details '50 facts' attacking Clinton Clinton slams Trump on immigration in Arizona op-ed 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.

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2. Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioThe Trail 2016: Warren takes VP batting practice Abortion ruling roils race for the White House, Senate US, Mexico have mutual ambassadors for first time in over a year MORE (Fla.) decided that post-shutdown it was time to get back in the news — but in a good way. So he gave a speech about foreign policy, something that distinguishes him from the "defunder" crowd of new, more libertarian  and Tea Party-backed Republicans who have moved away from the belief that the United States must maintain a strong internationalist posture in the world. Rubio, ever the straddler, said in his remarks at the American Enterprise Institute that the old labels are "obsolete" and that the GOP "has no strategic foreign policy view." Take that, Gov. Christie. And Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump hires ex-Cruz aide as communications director Overnight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | Snowden's robot | Trump's big digital push Kasich doesn't expect to speak at convention MORE (Texas) too.

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 PaulTrump flexes new digital muscle Republicans question Trump's trip to Scotland Hate TV customer service? So does your senator 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 TrumpSanders's Nevada director floated two-sided coins for tiebreaks: report Trump hires ex-Cruz aide as communications director GOP senator on Trump’s VP hunt: 'I know nothing’ 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 askab@thehill.com. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.

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