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US: George W Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, may be in fray for 2016 presidential polls

world Updated: Dec 17, 2014 02:07 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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A third Bush is suiting up for the White House.

Jeb Bush, son of former president George H Bush and younger brother of former president George W Bush, announced on Tuesday he was actively exploring the possibility of a run in 2016.

He wrote on his Facebook page that he discussed the future of the country and a run for the White House with his family over Thanksgiving, as he had previously said he would.

Jeb Bush at a rally in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo courtesy: Facebook)

“As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States,” he wrote.

But this is not it. It’s merely one step, but a significant one, closer to it. He will decide and announce next year after meeting with supporters, donors and strategists.

He plans to set up a political action committee in January. His Facebook post said “help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation”.

Both his father and brother have publicly and privately urged him to run. His mother Barbara Bush was opposed to it. But she appears to have come around, it has been reported.

Jeb Bush, 61, is a former governor of Florida — it was during his governorship that his brother beat Democrat Al Gore in a nasty counting battle of the chads in 2000.

Last week he announced he would release thousands of official emails from his time as governor, and has been extricating himself from financial arrangements that could harm his chances.

There are plenty of other Republicans considering a run for the White House, but that field is expected to shrink suddenly and severely once Bush makes up his mind.

Among those said to be keen are governors Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal and John Kasich; Senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz; and Congressman Paul Ryan.

Mitt Romney, who had declared 2012 was his last shot, also finds himself in the mix, despite continued denials from him and his family. Ronald Reagan, after all, won on his third try.

On the other side, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton streets ahead of others in every poll — such as vice-president Joe Biden and Governor Martin O’Malley.

But she hasn’t announced either. Supporters are now publicly urging her to jump in before it’s late, as support for Senator Elizabeth Warren, a rising star, has surged.

A large group of President Barrack Obama’s erstwhile poll staff recently released a jointly signed letter asking Warren to run. She is not interested, she has insisted. So far.

Clinton is for many the presumptive Democratic candidate. But, pundits warn, she was in a similar situation in 2006-7 when a little known senator from Chicago shot past her.

The Facebook post by Jeb Bush