Republicans pin hopes for win on a third Bush

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The Independent Online

It has been less than a month since Mitt Romney was forced to abandon his 1,118-word victory speech, but already the Grand Old Party has begun the search for its great new hope, with Republican heads turning in the direction of Texas and the name Bush.

In fact, there are two Bushes in the frame. Nephew and grandson of ex-Presidents George W and George H W respectively, the young GOP dynast in question is George P Bush. The other hope is his father Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and potential presidential runner.

Jeb Bush is said to be taking stock of his finances and position within the party, according to The New York Times, as he contemplates a run for the highest office in the land. His bid for the White House would set up a battle of the dynasties – Clinton vs Bush round two – as Hillary Clinton, wife of the former President Bill, is also said to be considering standing in 2016.

As talk turns to his father's ambitions, 36-year-old George's decision to file preliminary paperwork to run for office in Texas in 2014 has whetted the appetite of more than a few Republican strategists. The Lone Star State was, after all, his uncle George W's political stomping ground and springboard to Washington.

As if this pedigree weren't enough, the P in his name is for Prescott, as in Senator Prescott Sheldon Bush, the first President Bush's father. George the youngest is also half-Hispanic. His mother, and Jeb Bush's ex-wife, Columba Garnica Gallo, is a naturalised citizen originally from Mexico.

The heritage matters. On 6 November, exit polls showed that 10 per cent of the electorate was Hispanic, against 9 per cent in 2008 and 8 per cent in 2004. Many argue that President Obama, who received more than 70 per cent of the national Latino vote, compared with 27 per cent for Mr Romney, would have been out of a job without the community's support.

His target in Texas remains unclear. The real estate investor, who served in Afghanistan with the US Navy and co-founded a political action committee called Hispanic Republicans for Texas, submitted paperwork appointing a campaign treasurer with the state's ethics commission earlier this month in what is the first step for any candidate seeking state office.

Alive to the potency of his nephew's genes, George P Bush's uncle, George W, wheeled him out for a bilingual speech (he speaks Spanish fluently) at the Republican convention in 2000.