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The Bush Family Weighs In

April 5, 2012

Katie Miller ’14

The Bush family has been a prominent fixture in politics for the last several decades and could soon be comparable to the Kennedys. So, their input on the current Republican primary is bound to carry a lot of weight. Last week Jeb Bush weighed in with his endorsement of Mitt Romney. This was no huge surprise because, according to the Washington Post, Mitt is a long time friend of the family. Just last Thursday, George H. W. Bush and his wife Laura also gave their official support to Romney. “Yeah, I do think it’s time for the party to get behind Governor Romney,” Bush replied. “And she [Laura Bush] was reminding me Kenny Rogers sang, ‘It’s time when to hold ‘em and time when to fold ‘em.’ Well, I think it’s time for people to all get behind this good man.” Former President Bush Sr. obviously has very strong feelings about the continuing battle for the nomination. He believes that it is time for the party to put up a united front before the split causes them the election.

Jeb Bush’s support is crucial to the Romney campaign says CBS news; Jeb is one of the few “wise men” within the Republican Party. People really listen to what he has to say and take what he says very seriously. However, this endorsement is in no way the silver bullet for Romney campaign; it is not going to convince people to love Romney overnight, but it may make people realize that this fight has gone on long enough. It is not going to help anyone if the probable nominee continues to be called a liar who flip-flops on the issues. Jeb’s endorsement may also quell the rumors that he will swoop in and steal the nomination at the convention, an unrealistic rumor.

There is one key member of the Bush family who has not had his say yet, George W. Bush. Our most recent former president has gotten a lot of flack from his fellow Republicans, so the current candidates view his support with caution. Due to this judgment from his party, Bush has become very withdrawn and is “enjoying his life in Texas. He’s not seeking the limelight. And he is really focused on the Bush Center.” Romney has denied any endorsement from George W. Bush and very rarely mentions him on the campaign trail. The stigma around Bush has kept him from taking an active role in his party post-presidency unlike many other presidents, notably Bill Clinton. Bush’s silence is not necessarily surprising to Politico, who notes that Bush has never had the need for attention that others crave. “Lots of people leave office and feel a need to continue to wield political influence — I won’t,” Bush said. Whether or not George W’s support of the Romney campaign would help or harm is impossible to predict and will probably remain a mystery.

Everyone will have to keep an eye on the Republican primary to see if the Bush family endorsement improves Romney’s chances. If it does not increase his popularity, hopefully it will at least make the voters and the GOP realize that unity is necessary if they want any chance of winning against President Obama next November.

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