The Los Angeles Times had a terrifying news story on Saturday. George Bush is running for public office in Texas.
No, not that George Bush, but it's the same family. George P. Bush is the son of the former president's brother, Jeb. And he seems to be handling his potential career in a very smart manner. He's starting small. While some people suggested a run for Congress, or high state office, like Attorney General, instead he's running to be commissioner of the General Land Office. It's a race he's expected to win -- not just because the job is low-enough down the ladder, but he's already raised more money than his expected opponent (the current commissioner) has spent in his two previous races, and there's still expected to be millions more to be raised before the election. He's being very circumspect and literally politically correct, talking only about his interest in this one job, nothing higher. But only a fool expects this to be his ultimate interest in public service.
When it comes to later races, he's positioning himself well. He not only will have this one elected office under his belt, but his background is solid. He went to college in state, at Houston, attending Rice University and went to the University of Texas law school. He also taught school in the inner-city and even served in Afghanistan in Navy intelligence (under an assumed name for security.) He owns an energy consulting firm in Fort Worth, where he and his wife are expecting their first child. He also was an early supporter of Ted Cruz, who is growing in big popularity in the state.
Given that his mother is Mexican, and Texas has a significantly growing Hispanic population, it's hard to imagine that, most especially with the Bush name (which actually means a lot in Texas, even if in much of the rest of the country polls show that it still provides shivers), George P. has a serious career ahead of him in Texas politics that could lead to the governorship or the Senate, or both, and a place on the national stage. And at that point, especially given the possibility of short-term memory loss, all is fair game, and it's even harder to imagine that there aren't advisers already grooming him to be a third George Bush sitting the Oval Office.
The body convulses at the thought.
Now, obviously we're getting ahead of ourselves here. He still has to win his first election that's against an incumbent. And as much as there is a growing base of Hispanics in Texas, that base appears to be trending towards Democrats. Also, Ted Cruz has the very real potential to crash and burn, which could backfire on his supporters. And ultimately, any run on the national stage with the name "George Bush" also holds the potential that memories will be very long, and deservedly so. No, he's not his uncle, but if he's not running on that legacy, then he loses a lot of support. And if he is running on that legacy (and he is -- signs in crowds where he is campaigning read, "Welcome to Bush Country!"), then as his namesake said, "Fool me, once, shame on me. Fool me twice...you can't, you aren't gonna fool me again." To which you then have to add getting fooled for a third time.
There's also the question on whether he'll be a good politicians and campaigner. Early reports are that he's a poor public speaker. But he's young, and that will no doubt be improved over time, with an army of consultants.
"I know the backbone of the family," policeman Ken Brown told the paper. That's what will likely hold the third George Bush in very good stead in Texas.
The thing is, I know the backbone of the family, too, and it gives me the creeps. At the moment, it gives most Americans the creeps, as well. But moments pass, so it's good to keep an open, wary eye.
Me, I've had enough of being Bushed, by George.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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