Jeb Bush Rules Out 2008 Presidential Bid
Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida on Sunday publicly ruled out running for president in 2008, quashing for now, talk of a third Bush in the White House. The governor, who is President Bush’s younger brother, said on ABC’s “This Week” that he would return to Miami when his second term ended in 2006. Mr. Bush was a real estate developer here before he entered politics. “I’m not going to run for president in 2008,” Mr. Bush, who rarely grants interviews to the national news media, told George Stephanopoulos, the host of “This Week.” “That’s not my interest. I’m governor of this state. It’s the best job in the world I have.”
Mr. Bush has been a popular governor, even more so after his handling of four hurricanes that battered his state recently. Many Florida Republicans have encouraged him to seek the presidency, but others have worried that Americans would resist sending another Bush to the Oval Office.
The governor is often asked if he will seek the presidency, but typically waves off the question with a roll of the eyes. But when he decided not to attend the Republican National Convention in August, saying he could not abandon his storm-pummeled state, he was widely believed to be signaling he would not seek higher office. The governor’s friends say that unlike President Bush, he dislikes grip-and-grin politics and prefers creating and analyzing policy. He told Mr. Stephanopoulos that he did not know what his future held, adding: “I’m not going to think about what I’m going to do, either, until I finish. I put my hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the laws, and in my mind that also meant that I would finish as strong as I started.”
At 51, the governor is young enough to run for the White House after 2008.
A third President Bush would be mighty confusing, if nothing else. And if George P. Bush ever got elected . . . .