Bush for President in 2008?

Will there be a 3rd Bush term?

Some federal employees are close to frothing at the mouth in response to President Bush’s actions regarding the 2005 federal pay raise. Despite the rabid response in recent days, in FedSmith.com polls readers expressed a preference for John Kerry (by a small margin) and federal employees will, in all likelihood, end up with the 3.5 percent raise after Congress finishes with the omnibus spending bill.

But, in view of the strong sentiments of at least some readers as expressed in the comments section of our recent articles, here’s a question for you.

Will there be a third Bush term?

It’s possible. George W. Bush is barred from running again and no doubt his father no longer has the fire in his belly or physical stamina to return to the Oval Office.

But the governor of Florida may have a good shot at it. Jeb Bush is a southern Republican and has won two terms in a state that varies widely from one end to the other. South Florida resembles the electorate of the blue states with stereotypical northern charm but with a warm, tropical climate. Northern Florida is more closely linked to Alabama and more traditional Southern culture.

Jeb Bush won in Florida by appealing to this diverse electorate. He is conservative on social issues but doesn’t sound like he is from Texas, speaks Spanish fluently and is married to a Mexican. He easily won a second term as governor of this swing state.

No doubt, the liberal media will be apoplectic at the thought of another Bush in the White House. But it’s not illegal; it just hasn’t been done before.

Everyone “knew” that a Catholic could not be elected president-until John Kennedy proved otherwise.

An actor could not be given serious consideration as a presidential candidate. How could the star of “Bedtime for Bonzo” be taken seriously in the capitals of Europe? And it couldn’t be done-until Ronald Reagan proved otherwise.

And how could a political career be launched by the wife of the President of the United States? It wasn’t thought of as socially correct and would be damaging to the president’s career-at least until Hillary Clinton moved to New York (by way of Illinois and Arkansas) to become a New York Senator (and in all probability a candidate for president in 2008).

And how can the brother of the current president become the next president? It’s unheard of–at least until it happens.

Jeb Bush has said on numerous occasions he is not running for president. It may be true. A recent article in the Washington Times stirred speculation he may change his mind. That may just reflect wishful thinking on the part of Republicans who see Jeb Bush as a way to extend their hold on the office. In fact, whether Jeb Bush decides to run or not may depend in part on the political landscape after some time has passed in the second term of George Bush. If he is very popular, some of that popularity may be transferable.

If it doesn’t go well, Jeb Bush has already said he won’t run so no harm there as unpopularity may also be transferable to the President’s younger brother.

But President George Bush may have more at stake than his own legacy; he may be determining the political future of his brother as well.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47