Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and older brother of George W., has been getting increasing buzz as a potential presidential contender in 2016.
Today the influential Center for Politics at the University of Virginia has moved him to the top of the unsettled GOP presidential field — in part due to NJ Governor Chris Christie’s bridge scandal.
“We now consider Bush the leader of his field if he decides to run.”
Jeb has had a more centrist appeal than his brother, and was respected as a governor of the big, important swing state of Florida. All points in his favour in a field that has not yet produced any clear frontrunner.
Jeb was always considered the brighter star, more interested in policy and governing. Yet their fates changed in 1994 when both brothers ran for governor: Jeb in Florida and George W. in Texas. Jeb lost his race, while the future president won his, putting him on a path to the White House.
It was a surprise to the family — according to this account in New York magazine:
The family was shocked when the family clown won his race and Jeb, the meticulous wonk, lost his. George H.W. and Barbara were inordinately disappointed for Jeb, and George injured W.’s feelings when he lamented Jeb’s loss in the same phone call he congratulated W. for his win. “Why do you feel bad about Jeb?” George W. was overheard to say. “Why don’t you feel good about me?”
It could be an epic dynastic battle: Bush v. Clinton.