, Salem, MA


April 12, 2014

Shribman: Will Jeb Bush run?


Here are the elements Bush and the Republican Party have to weigh for 2016:

The dynasty factor. There was a Bush or a Clinton on a national party ticket for the seven consecutive presidential elections between 1980 and 2004. If either Bush or Clinton wins a nomination in 2016, that would mean that one or both families would have been on a major-party ticket in 80 percent of the American presidential elections since “M.A.S.H” was one of the nation’s leading television shows and Pink Floyd was one of the leading music groups.

“If we can’t find more than two or three families to run for high office,” Jeb Bush’s mother, Barbara Bush, said in January, “that’s silly.”

There is another way to look at modern American dynastic politics. There was a Bush or a Dole on eight consecutive Republican national tickets between 1976 and 2004. This is a situation more akin to the politics of the Philippines and Indonesia than to the American political tradition.

The kinder, gentler factor. That phrase was popularized by Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, but clearly Bush feels that impulse in his desire for a change in the tone of American politics. In his remarks last week at an event honoring the senior President Bush at Texas A&M University, Bush spoke of a “hopeful, optimistic message.”

That sentiment differs little from what his brother, then-Gov. George W. Bush of Texas, expressed in his 2000 race and from what Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois voiced in his 2008 race.

But Bush made an unusually strong appeal to his own party to abandon heated rhetoric and divisiveness. He has viewed this shrillness firsthand — as his father was ridiculed for being obtuse and unfeeling in the 1992 campaign and as his brother was pilloried in the last years of his administration and attacked in 2008 even though he was not on the ballot.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate