JEB!'s dead, baby... JEB!s dead.
Putting himself out of his own misery, John Ellis Bush has capitulated that he has no place in the batsh!t gestalt of the 2016 GOP primary and has dropped his bid for a Bush family White House reclamation project.
With that news, the once overcrowded GOP fun run of insanity is now - for all intents and purposes - a three horse race.
Human attention crater Donald Trump remains out front while Ted Cruz keeps bending truth and the notion of basic like-ability to stay in second place. In third is the last great hope for mainstream Republicans: thirsty personality chameleon Marco Rubio
With Chris Christie, Scott Walker and now JEB! off the campaign trail, Wall Street is no longer dealing with the buffet of choices once offered by overstuffed turducken of crazy that the primary looked like last fall. The only choice for Wall Street check-writers is whether to start scribbling away for Marco or just leave the checkbook in the drawer and hope for the best.
As noted by Reuters, Rubio is already the biggest recipient of Wall Street money so far this cycle...
The U.S. senator from Florida has received more than $4 million from the employees of banks and investment firms like Bank of America Corp, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. since launching his bid for the presidency last year, according to the analysis of individual donations totaling more than $200 each.
And that's with Rubio's ham-fisted debate performances and sometimes goofy misreadings of basic human behavior. Basically, Rubio has been fundraising on Wall Street despite himself. Donors are writing him checks against Trump (and to a lesser extent Cruz) like people light lanterns on New Year's Eve and send them into the sky like a tactile wish.
Now, with the vague hope that JEB! provided for establishment people on Wall Street gone forever, and the threat of Trump looming ever larger, Wall Street money has to go somewhere, and the only logical place is Marco Rubio.
It will be interesting to see if canary in the political coal mine money guys like hedge funder Anthony Scaramucci (late of Walker and now JEB!) will jump on board with Rubio. Or whether guys like Stanley Druckenmiller will get out of their kitchens and stop pretending like John Kasich is really still in this thing (we think he's a character too, but...c'mon ).
While JEB! wasn't getting all those small checks from individual Wall Streeters, his "Right to Rise" super PAC was getting huge ones from bold-faced finance names like Hank Greenberg, who chipped in $10 million awhile back.
That kind of money could all flow towards Rubio now, if he can not do anything terribly stupid and somehow derail the cavalcade of histrionics that is the Trump campaign.
We're talking about guys like Steve Schwarzman, Steve Cohen and Ken Langone coming around to the idea to wearing a Rubio pin. But that could be a long walk for those guys to take at this point.
Conversely, if you're an establishment Republican at a big bank looking to write a check but can't find anyone you like in your own party, take care to remember that Hillary Clinton loves a good speaking fee.