Is Jeb Paving the Way for Romney 2016?

The ongoing ping-pong match between whether former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and/or former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will run continues apace, but the latest intel from Romney insiders says the former Massachusetts governor has unofficially flipped on his staunch opposition to planning a third run for the White House.

One member of Romney’s inner circle reported that he held high-level meetings in New York City this week with donors, specifically ‘key financial backers of his last campaign’.

According to the insider who was at the meetings–which included developer Stephen Ross, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, and hedge funders Julian Robertson and Paul Singer–said at least one supporter left convinced Romney is running, according to Business Insider.

The news gives rise to fresh speculation both about Romney’s intentions and about whether Jeb Bush, who held meetings with potential money backers in NYC last month, will ultimately decide to run as well.

It was only a few weeks ago that Ann Romney let slip in an interview that her husband’s potential change of mind on running likely hinges on whether Jeb Bush decides to run, a factoid that offers some interpretive value for this week’s revelation.

A recent poll from Quinnipiac continues to show Romney easily on the top of the list of potential GOP nominees with all others trailing far behind; but more interesting when Romney is removed from the list of options, Bush jumps to the top.

These polls confirm that the resultant field of official Republican presidential candidates cannot include both Romney and Bush, a reality which they likely already recognize. This offers insight into the possibility that there could be collaboration at some level between Romney and Bush in terms of who may more likely offer a successful path to the White House.