Former Republican Rep. Allen West has ruled out a 2014 rematch against Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter. But West hasn’t definitively doused speculation — fueled by his nationwide conservative fan base and fanned by his own recent observation that Abraham Lincoln was also one-term congressman — that he’ll run for president in 2016.
West’s continued popularity on the right is evidenced by his speaking slot Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington. CPAC has long been a way station for Republican White House aspirants. This year’s lineup features such potential 2016ers as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, filibustering Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, House Budget Chairman and 2012 VP nominee Paul Ryan, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and perennial presidential wild cards Sarah Palin and part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump.
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