TODAY | March 24, 2014
>>> former florida governor jeb bush and hillary clinton are sharing the spotlight today in an education conference in texas. could it be a preview of a bush/ clinton presidential race in 2016 ? the story from nbc's chief white house correspondent chuck todd .
>> reporter: two political power houses sharing the spotlight today could be presidential rivals in 2016 . democrats seemed comfortable with the idea of a coronation of hillary clinton . many of them are almost begging her to run. and now, some long time republicans nervous about the influence of the tea party would like to see a coronation of one of their own. former florida governor jeb bush . bush has joked about a match-up with clinton before.
>> we do agree on the wisdom of the american people , especially those in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina .
>> and for the first time in his career, bush seems truly open to a run. at times, more forthcoming about his interests than hillary clinton who continues to remain coy about her plans.
>> if you don't represent women in politics in america as future presidents, who will?
>> give me your name and number.
>> bush has been more direct, promising to make a final decision by the end of this year.
>> the decision will be based on can i do it joyfully? because i think we need to have candidates lift our spirits.
>> reporter: this renewed interest in jeb bush comes as the early establishment 2016 favorite. new jersey governor chris christie has been badly damaged by that george washington bridge scandal leaving jeb bush as the party's leading statesman.
>> bush's aides caution, though, reading too much into his current schedule arguing he'd be helping republicans regardless of his plans. and bush has family matters to consider. his own mother doesn't want him to run as she told matt on "today."
>> we've had enough bushes.
>> bush is now trying to make light of his mom's opposition.
>> if you were to run for president, would you get your mother's vote?
>> if bush does go head to head with clinton , he'd face an uphill battle. still, the bigger hurdle for bush is the republican primary gauntlet. will the long time conservative from florida be viewed as conservative enough for the republican party of 2016 ? for "today," chuck todd , nbc news, washington.