Republicans pin their hopes on a third George Bush

Grandson of one President – and nephew of another – signals that he is ready to run for political office

Nikhil Kumar
Sunday 25 November 2012 23:30
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George P. Bush speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference
George P. Bush speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference

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 many Republican heads turning in the direction of Texas and the name Bush... George Bush.

This isn't a flashback. Nephew and grandson of ex-Presidents George W and George H W respectively, the young GOP dynast in question is George P Bush, the son of former Florida Governor (and potential presidential runner) Jeb Bush.

Even as talk turns to his father's ambitions for 2016, 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 springboard to the White House.

As if this pedigree wasn'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 Barack 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.

Alive to the potency of his nephew's genes, his uncle George W Bush wheeled him out for a bilingual speech (he speaks fluent Spanish) at the Republican Party Convention in 2000. By then he was already an experienced hand, having made his convention debut at the age of 12 in 1988, when his grandfather was nominated for the presidency.

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. A subsequent email to supporters from his father Jeb suggested that he might be aiming for the Texas Land Commissioner's office.

Meanwhile, attention is also turning to George's father, who is being touted as a potential Republican nominee for the 2016 White House polls. Jeb Bush is said to be taking stock of his finances and place within the party, according to The New York Times, as he contemplates a run for the highest office in the land.

His son, and George P's brother, Jeb Jnr, fanned speculation during a recent interview with CNN. Asked if he wanted to see his father make a bid, he replied: "I don't know. No comment. I certainty hope so."

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