THERE ARE few headlines that reveal the white male, old boys’ club reality of the Republican Party more than the New York Times headline today.
Within the family, the top cheerleaders have been George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, both of whom know something about running for president, and both of whom have an interest in perpetuating, if not redeeming, the family legacy. Barbara Bush, the former first lady and Jeb Bush’s mother, is unconvinced, according to people close to the family, but has been persuaded to stop saying it so publicly. George P. Bush, his other son, who is running for Texas land commissioner, has been supportive of what he calls a likely run.
And then there is the larger Bush clan, the vast constellation of friends, advisers, strategists, pollsters, fund-raisers, donors and supporters assembled over several generations in public life. With Jeb Bush, the former two-term governor of Florida, comes one more chance to reach the top. “They’re like horses in the stall waiting for the gate to break,” said one family insider who has known Jeb Bush for decades and like others did not want to be named. “They’re all jumping up and down.”
Sen. Rand Paul and his libertarian-lite legions couldn’t have a better set up, even if establishment Republicans think he’d be “devastating” for Republicans.