Usborne in the USA: Another George Bush tipped for big things

The son of Jeb Bush is handsome, articulate and, most compellingly, he is half-Hispanic


Like so many conversations on the radio dial-in show, this one got out of hand fast. In the time it took me to drive from one set of traffic lights to another in downtown San Antonio on Tuesday night it went from ‘Should we be taking this candidate seriously?’ to ‘He’ll be a shoo-in for the White House in 2024.’ Slow down there, cowboy.

The topic was primary election day in Texas. Results were just trickling in. Plenty were important, notably sorting out who would run in November for governor to replace Rick Perry – Greg Abbott, Republican, against Wendy Davis, Democrat.

And would Senator John Cornyn survive a Tea Party challenge? (He did.) But this was about the race to be the Republican nominee for Land Commissioner. The winner by a mile was a certain George P Bush.

George P is the son of Jeb Bush, one-time governor of Florida, and nephew of George W. He has already shown he can raise prodigious amounts of money – more than $3.5m just for his primary campaign. He is handsome, articulate and, most compellingly, half-Hispanic and bilingual. His mother, Columba, is from Mexico. Land Commissioner might not be a sexy post but it has traditionally been a stepping stone in Texas to greater things.

Matt Mackowiak, a conservative Republican consultant in Austin, agrees the radio jocks were getting a bit ahead of themselves with their loose White House talk. Their theory was that in 2024 it would be a race of the dynasties, George P versus Chelsea Clinton. “I know George well enough to know he is not plotting in that way,” he assured me. At the same time, he means to keep this particular Bush scion, still just 37 years old, firmly on his radar.

“He seems right now to be an unstoppable force,” Mr Mackowiak offered yesterday, calling his fund-raising prowess “a reflection of the potential that major donors see in you”. Bush, who has taught inner city kids in Miami and served in Navy Intelligence in Afghanistan, is expected easily to defeat Democrat John Cook in the general election in November.

His supporters hope he will become the new, more inclusive, face of the Republican Party in Texas, if not eventually nationally, not least because of his half-Mexican heritage.

Nothing is more urgent than repairing its standing with the fast-growing Hispanic community if it is to stop Democrats regaining control of the state.

“We don’t have to change our conservative principles to win, we just need to change our tactics,” he told a primary night victory party near his home in Fort Worth. Alternating between English and Spanish, his mum by his side on the stage. “You’ll see that we have Tea Party friends, that we have mainstream conservatives, we have strong Latino support and a lot of younger voters.”

This George still has a long way to go to prove himself in Texas let alone on a national stage and things beyond his control could speed him on his way or stop him dead. His best chance of accelerated advancement, Mackowiak suggests, is Texas Senator Ted Cruz becoming president or vice president in 2016. His seat could be for George’s taking.

And the man best positioned to stymie his advance? His own father. What if, also in 2016, dithering Jeb is finally persuaded by party grandees to run for the White House and actually wins? Three men named Bush taking turns in the Oval Office would be one thing. But then a fourth after that? What’s Spanish for “enough already”?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An Indian bookseller waits for customers at a roadside stall on World Book and Copyright Day in Mumbai  

Novel translation lets us know what is really happening in the world

Boyd Tonkin

Nature Studies: The decline and fall of the nightingale, poetry’s most famous bird

Michael McCarthy
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine