Bush 2012? Bush 2016?
by Jonathan Singer, Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 08:21:45 PM EST
Think Progress has the tape of George H.W. Bush making the pitch for another Bush presidency:
Here's the transcript:
CHRIS WALLACE: So in terms -- I understand you're saying it's up to him, but in terms of public service and ability to help the country, you'd like to see him run.
GEORGE .H.W. BUSH: I'd like to see him run. I'd like to see him be president some day.
BUSH: Or maybe senator. Whatever. Yes, I would. I mean, right now is probably a bad time, because we've had enough Bushes in there. But no, I would. And I think he's as qualified and able as anyone I know on the political scene. Now, you've got to discount that. He's my son. He's my son that I love.
I have written about this before, but it would be a real problem for Republicans to go back to the Bush well -- especially so soon. George W. Bush's approval rating still sits at or below 30 percent, and over the last four years of the current Bush administration, Republicans have lost close to 60 House seats, 13 Senate seats, seven Governorships, a great number of state legislatures. What's more, as Matthew Yglesias notes, George H.W. Bush's 37.45 percent of the popular vote in 1992, which was "slightly less than George McGovern," was the worst showing for a major party candidate in 80 years.
Does that mean that I don't want to see the Republicans go back and nominate Jeb Bush in four or eight years? Of course not, because I think such a move would be great for the Democrats as it would reinforce the notion that the GOP is the party of the past while the Democratic Party of the future. But if they do choose as their standard-bearer another Bush in 2012 or 2016, they can't say I didn't warn them.