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George Bush Wanted Jeb Bush To Run For President In 2012

George W. Bush thinks his brother should have tried to follow in his footsteps this year:

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura wanted his brother Jeb Bush to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, the former first lady said Wednesday in Florida.

“We wanted him to [run] this time,” Laura Bush said in Sarasota, according to the Herald-Tribune. She added that she and the former president “wish he would” run, saying Jeb Bush would be a “wonderful” president in part due to his work on education.

Jeb Bush, the younger brother of George W. Bush and the son of former President George H.W. Bush, was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. Bush has ruled out seeking the presidency in this cycle.

Bush, who speaks Spanish and is married to a woman born in Mexico, has been active in trying to bring Hispanic voters – a crucial and growing vowing bloc that usually supports Democrats – to the Republican Party. Earlier this year, he said Republicans should not just run for president by attacking President Obama.

“It’s good to be critical of (President Obama) — I think the president means well, but his policies have failed,” he said. “But just to stop there and say, ‘I’m going to win because I’m against what’s going on’ is not good enough.”

Some of us wish it had been Jeb who ran in 2000, actually, but that’s another story.

Jeb Bush would be an interesting candidate for President. By all accounts, he’s unlike his brother in several significant respects, had a successful two terms in Tallahassee, and is able to reach out to the Hispanic community in a way that most Republicans are miserably failing to at the moment. At the same time, his last name is Bush and, even if you disregard the issue of the tainted legacy of the Bush 43 years, I’m not sure that the American public would really go for yet another entry into the dynastic Presidency category. Nonetheless, Bush will only be 63 in 2016 so he’s technically got another chance to grab for the brass ring if he wishes.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    Yes, well, Dubya’s a moron.

    It’s entirely possible, as you say, that Jeb might be a solid candidate in a vacuum. But we’re not in one. Here on planet Earth, there have already been two President Bush’s, and the last one was awful (had he done better, I suspect the public would get over the dynastic issue).

    The Bush name is toxic in politics, at least for now. As it should be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  2. It’s also kinda weird that George and Laura apparently feel it’s up to them to dictate Jeb’s decisions on whether to run or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  3. @Rob in CT:

    I suspect there will be at least a slight renaissance for the Bush’s when George H.W. Bush passes away. Say what you will about him, but he is a decent man.

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  4. Drew says:

    The best is yet to come…….

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  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    If Jeb runs then I’ll be using leveraged call options to go long on various pharmaceutical companies. For the simple and obvious reason that every liberal Moonbat in the country will in that event need massive increases in the dosages of their meds.

    Putting that aside, the thing about a Jeb candidacy is that you probably could not script a better scenario concerning the Electoral College from the Republican standpoint. Jeb would all but guarantee Florida. His social conservative bona fides would play very well in all the southern and mid-western states. His ability to connect with Latinos would pose grave problems for the Democrat nominee in places like Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. Arizona probably would be out of play for the Democrat. It’s difficult to see any non-Obama Democrat challenging Jeb in Virginia. If you paired Jeb up with someone like Rob Portman that probably would lock up Ohio too. You could also pair him up with Toomey and make a very hard push for PA.

    I suspect, however, that Jeb doesn’t really want the job. There also is the reality that the GOP primary selectorate is extremely cocooned, naive and irrational, and, let’s be blunt, not altogether bright. Jeb certainly could lose a GOP nominating contest, even if his main opponents were road kill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Hey Norm says:

    Too bad George messed it up for him.
    Remember 41 crying publicly because he realized it.
    Maybe in ’16.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  7. Tillman says:

    You could also pair him up with Toomey and make a very hard push for PA.

    There has to be someone better than Pat Toomey. Sure, Pennsylvania might go for a Bush/Toomey ticket, but Toomey could turn out to be a Palinesque albatross that turns away independents and moderates in other states.

    Also of note: wouldn’t this be the first time a political dynasty in America had three presidents to its name?

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  8. Bill Jempty says:

    This Florida resident will say it once more- Jeb Bush will not run for office again. His wife, Columba, isn’t fond of being in the spotlight.

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  9. Herb says:

    I’m not sure that the American public would really go for yet another entry into the dynastic Presidency category.

    And yet, we have Romney, who’s father ran in 68, and Paul, who is grooming his son for the kind of long ambitious political career enjoyed by the father.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. @Herb:

    And on the other side, the Kennedies most notably, but also others like Gores and the Daleys

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  11. Herb says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You forgot the Udalls.

    Yes, “both sides” have their political dynasties. But the Kennedies are old news. I don’t think there are any in congress anymore, and none of them are on anyone’s “Run for President” shortlist. The Gores? Al Gore’s political career was over 10 years ago and he has no successor.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Clintons. They could have joined the “dynastic Presidency category” were it not for a junior senator from Illinois with a funny name….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. @Herb:

    Al Gore’s political career was over 10 years ago and he has no successor.

    There was also Deborah Gore and Louise Gore Dean.

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  13. Herb says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Well, true, but they were both Republicans and one of them has been dead for 6 years and the other is a convicted felon. Neither will be running for president anytime soon.

    (Besides….by such weak standards, wouldn’t that make Schwarzenegger a Kennedy?)

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  14. Muffler says:

    Sorry, but a family getting three members elected president over 20 years in a country of 300 plus million people is just sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. @Herb:

    by such weak standards, wouldn’t that make Schwarzenegger a Kennedy?

    Well, he certainly started acting like a Kennedy husband. ;>

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  16. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I got to know Jeb semi-well, professionally, during the 2000-05 years of his FL gov’ship. A few quick notes:

    1. Jeb is one of the brightest politicians I’ve ever met, and can communicate those ideas.

    2. He is quite an ideologue. Example: In a sad case where a mentally disabled young adult was molested – and impregnated – by a much-older husband-of-the-caregiver, Jeb tried to have a guardian appointed for the fetus.

    3. The White House was supposed to be Jeb’s all along. The plan was for him to win his governor’s seat in 1994, get re-elected in ’98 and then run for president. But incumbent Lawton Chiles had something to say about that ’94 race…

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  17. An Interested Party says:

    If Jeb runs then I’ll be using leveraged call options to go long on various pharmaceutical companies. For the simple and obvious reason that every liberal Moonbat in the country will in that event need massive increases in the dosages of their meds.

    You should already be doing that concerning the drug companies, as there will be many conservative wingnuts who will need significant amounts of various medications if the President wins a second term…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Stormy Dragon: That’s a cheap shot… and depressingly accurate.

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  19. superdestroyer says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy:

    If Jeb Bush is one of the smartest people in politics, then all politicians must be idiots. Jeb Bush is an open borders, cheap labor, big business, country club Republican who is too stupid to be able to count.

    A conservative party can only survive by appealing to middle class whites who are or were employed in the private sector. Yet, Jeb Bush wants to have unlimited, legal immigration when the vast majority of those immigrants will pay little if any in taxes and will automatically vote for Democrats.

    Jeb Bush is a big debt, big government, “compassionate conservative” who needs to crawl under a rock and never be seen again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Made me laugh.

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