I am intrigued by the notion that yet another Bush is about to become part of Texas political history. It remains to be seen, of course, whether he becomes a mere footnote or carves out a significant place in Lone Star State lore.
George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, says he wants to run for statewide office in Texas. Will it be for Texas governor, for attorney general, for land commissioner? The smart money suggests he will seek the land commissioner’s office.
Bush is an interesting young man. He’s 36 years old, is fluent in Spanish (his mother is Mexican), is handsome and is well-educated (with a law degree).
I witnessed George P. Bush’s political coming out at the 1992 Republican convention in Houston when he took to the podium to speak on behalf of “Poppy,” George H.W. Bush, who was seeking re-election as president. The 16-year-old George P. ended his speech by exhorting the crowd with “Viva Boosh!” The Astrodome crowd erupted … and a star was born.
His name also is Bush, which at this very moment would – at best – be a mixed blessing in almost every other state in the Union. But not in Texas … apparently.
Uncle George W. Bush left the presidency in 2009 with the nation’s economy in shambles; we were still fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; Osama bin Laden was still hiding in plain sight in a three-story compound in Pakistan. Since then, though, the economy is recovering, the Iraq war is over, the Afghanistan war is drawing to a close and bin Laden’s corpse was dumped into the ocean after U.S. commandos killed him in May 2011.
George P. Bush’s name remains a plus in Texas nonetheless. I’m not entirely sure why that’s so, but it is.
The land commissioner’s job has been described by some as something of a dead-end post. Not true. It can be a stepping stone to bigger and better offices. But whichever course George P. chooses will depend on what other Republicans do.
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson was thought to be running for lieutenant governor; then again, the current lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, was considered a shoo-in for the U.S. Senate, except that he lost the GOP primary this past summer. Dewhurst likely will seek re-election to the job he holds. Attorney General Greg Abbott might run against Gov.-for-Life Rick Perry, should “Goodhair” seek another term. If Abbott makes that leap, it opens up the AG’s office for someone such as George P.
But if Abbott seeks re-election to the AG office, does that give George P. an opening to run for (gulp!) governor?
All this intrigue makes my head hurt.