Saturday, January 15, 2005

Dynasty: Jeb in 08

The Lexington column of the Economist (13 Jan) makes the case for Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, as next president of the United States of America (Brother, where art thou?):

The Bush family has always regarded Jeb as the bearer of the family fortunes. He was not only much more hard-working than his elder brother (he started kindergarten a year early and graduated from the University of Texas in two-and-a-half years). He was also much more ambitious; as a child he wanted to become president, while George wanted to be a baseball star.

…Dynasties bring huge benefits as well as potential costs. The Bush brand is worth millions in advertising, and it gives Jeb access to the most powerful fund-raising machine in American politics. The potential costs can be minimised if the other side can also be tarred with the dynastic brush. Hillary Clinton is currently ahead of the field of potential Democratic candidates. If she decides to make a run for the presidency—and Hillary signs are already appearing in Washington—then Jeb can reap all the benefits of his name while incurring few of the costs.

...There is a chance that Jeb will ignore the weakness of his rivals and sit on his hands in 2008 (his friends say he is tortured by the dynasty question). But he is also a man who has devoted his entire life to politics and who has a notoriously competitive relationship with his elder brother. And don't think it will stop with Jeb. His handsome son, George P. Bush, has conspicuously left university to work as a teacher in a run-down school.

How could one possibly refuse?

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