The deeper Gov. Bush gets into his lame duck years, and the closer it gets to his brother’s presidential show-down, the more speculation picks up about Jeb’s future plans. A persistent query concerns a presumed run for the presidency. Most recently the governor had to deny such interest on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I’m not going to run for president in 2008,” he told George Stephanopolous. “That’s not my interest. I’m going to finish my term.”
You don’t have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to see the linguistic parsing in that reply. But you also don’t have to be a presidential scholar to sense that Americans might look askance at a Bush trifecta. As in at least one too many.
Granted, the wonkish, well-spoken Jeb had been groomed for a presidential run before being leapfrogged by his older brother. And it’s true that Americans can be enamored of political legacies — from Adams and Harrison to Taft, Kennedy and Bush. But while John and Quincy Adams are father-and-son precedents, going to the family well a third time, one suspects, would smack less of legacy than entitlement.
Americans may love famous families and faux Camelots, but not intimations of monarchy. It adds up to a governor on the presidential ambitions of Jeb Bush.