First Read Flash: Bush’s return

Updated
Former President George W. Bush speaks during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.
Former President George W. Bush speaks during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Immigration savior? Not so fast. “George W. Bush will make a rare post-presidential foray into politics on Wednesday when he delivers a speech about immigration, thrusting himself into a contentious internal policy debate which has split the Republican Party he once led,” NBC News reports. “GOP lawmakers are already sending signals that his thoughts won’t sway them but immigration reform is one of the great unfinished items of Bush’s presidency. His words on the matter are all the more noteworthy considering how hesitant he has been to delve into politics since leaving office, preferring instead to pursue other activities, such as charity work and his new painting hobby.”

But the former president’s support is likely to have little effect on a bill already in peril as House Speaker John Boehner meets with House Republicans today. Politico writes that “in private conversations, top Republicans on Capitol Hill now predict comprehensive immigration reform will die a slow, months-long death in the House. Like with background checks for gun buyers, the conventional wisdom that the party would never kill immigration reform, and risk further alienating Hispanic voters, was always wrong — and ignored the reality that most House Republicans are white conservatives representing mostly white districts.” The Washington Post has a good breakdown and graphic of the different factions that have emerged within the GOP on other contentious bills this Congress.

More trouble for McDonnell. The news keeps getting worse and worse for Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. The Washington Post has another bombshell on the slow drip of undisclosed gifts to benefit McDonnell’s family from one of the governor’s top political supporters. “A prominent political donor gave $70,000 to a corporation owned by” McDonnell “and his sister last year, and the governor did not disclose the money as a gift or loan, according to people with knowledge of the payments,” the Post reports. “The donor, wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., also gave a previously unknown $50,000 check to the governor’s wife, Maureen, in 2011, the people said. The money to the corporation and Maureen McDonnell brings to $145,000 the amount Williams gave to assist the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 — funds that are now at the center of federal and state investigations.”

 Ready-er for Hillary. “Former senior aides to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign have signed onto a prominent super PAC dedicated to helping promote Hillary Clinton for president in 2016,” NBC News reports. “Ready for Hillary announced Wednesday that it had partnered with 270 Strategies, an upstart Democratic grassroots consulting firm headed by two highly respected organizers of the 2012 Obama campaign.  An important part of the team credited with running the on-the-ground machine that helped the president to win a second term will now be part of the growing effort to advance the former secretary of state’s prospective candidacy in 2016.”

A Palin return?  “Sarah Palin said Monday she has considered running for Senate in 2014, although she suggested she would rather see someone else run for the seat held by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska),” the Washington Post reports. “ ‘I’ve considered it, because people have requested me considering it,’ she told radio host Sean Hannity. ‘But I’m still waiting to see what the lineup will be and hoping that … there will be some new blood, new energy, not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state.’ She added, ‘I, along with anybody, would have to say that I would do whatever I could to help. And, you know, if that was part of that help, then it would have to be considered.’”

First Read Flash: Bush's return

Updated