Jeb Bush and the Bush Family Legacy

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Jeb Bush and the Bush Family Legacy

It is official that Jeb Bush is running for presidency under the Republican Party. There have been speculations and indications the latest Bush presidential aspirant may be attempting to create a brand new image for himself and not be regarded as “one of the Bushes.” Given the strong political legacy the Bush family has built over the years, is this possible or even advisable?

Jeb Bush is no stranger to politics. He is the 43rd Governor of Florida and he is the only Republican Governor to have served for two full terms. Being Governor is however a totally different ball game from being the President of the United States. A lot of support is required to attain this highly coveted position. The Bush family is equipped with a structure that is solid and difficult to beat, having been built over the years.

The Bush political structure started with Daddy Bush more popularly known as George Bush Senior. Prior to becoming the 41st President of the United States, he was Vice President under President Ronald Reagan and before then, he was a member of the House of Representatives, representing the 7th District of Texas. Between this time and when he became the Vice President, he served in many capacities in government. He was appointed Ambassador to the United Nations and served for two years from 1971. He also served as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1973 and from this he moved on to become the Chief of the U.S Liaison office in China. Following this appointment, he in 1976, became the Director of the Central Intelligence. All these positions prepared him to become the 43rd President of the United States.

George Bush Senior lost his bid for a second term as President to Bill Clinton. However, the structures that had been setup were in place and were put to use to help George Bush Junior become the 43rd President of the United States. This structure also helped him win a second term in office, an accomplishment his dad before him failed to achieve.

George Bush Junior following in the family tradition ran for congress in 1978 but lost. He took a break from politics to concentrate on his business. 16 years later (1994) he ran for Governor of Texas and won, becoming the 46th Governor of the state the first governor to be elected to two four year terms as governor of Texas. With his current national popularity, he contested for the presidency in 2000 and won, becoming the 43rd President of the United States. He went ahead to win re-election to serve a second term. Needless to say, George Bush Junior built on his father’s existing political structures, making them stronger.

Now it is Jeb Bush’s turn to follow the path his father and elder brother have gone before him. Having served as Governor of Florida for two terms, he has some political clout and structure but this can in no way be compared to the structure that his father and elder brother have set up. There are already indications that this structure is already at work for him. He is said to have told donors in Miami Beach that he had raised more money than any previous Republican has raised in the first 100 days of declaring his intention. The previous record was held by his brother George who raised about $37 million in the first few months of declaring. It is speculated that he has so far raised over $100 million. Clearly, the Bush’s well-oiled political machinery has been put to work for Jeb Bush.

Popularly known as Jeb, John Ellis Bush does not seem like he is ready to try to run for presidency on the strength of his achievements and political structure alone. It is looking more and more likely that Jeb Bush will be largely relying on the Bush family legacy to propel him into the White House.


-The Wall Street Journal: With Another Bush Eying White House, Family Money Machine Springs to Life Jeb Bush flipflops on brother George because he needs character reference for the Israel lobby
-The New York Times: Jeb Bush Declares His Candidacy — Prematurely

Photo Courtesy Iprimages’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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