George Prescott Bush — the 36-year-old son of former Florida governor and current book peddler Jeb Bush, and thus nephew of former President George W. Bush — announced his run for Texas land commissioner on Tuesday afternoon, making him the latest (and youngest) Bush to set his eyes on political office. The announcement is not exactly a surprise: it follows recent reports that "P." (as the nickname goes) was considering a run for the state-level office, which is up for a vote in 2014, plus Bush comes from a deeply political family. He's clearly prepared himself for the role, too: an attorney by trade, George P. Bush currently manages a Fort Worth, Texas investment firm and sits on the board of a conservative political action committee. That said, it's still too far out to determine whether Bush stands a chance of victory.
Then again, this isn't all about "P." himself. It's also about his family. By running for land commissioner, Bush is drawing attention to himself at the exact moment that his father, Jeb, is trying to alter the policy positions of the GOP. Of course, zoning and other land policies administered by Texas's land commissioner don't come close to igniting the same passionate debate that immigration reform does. (Jeb Bush would know.) But it's not unthinkable that George P. would be tasked with answering for his father's plans to remake the GOP's stance on immigration, in the same way Jeb Bush has been forced to address — however unfairly — the legacy of his brother's presidency. With George P., the weight of his father's career could be even stronger, since his mother, Columba Bush, was born and grew up in Mexico, whose migrant population the GOP is struggling to address.
Admittedly, that's still a far way out. But George P., being a Bush, isn't just running for office; he's laying the groundwork for a career in politics. Even Uncle Dubya's failed run for Congress at age 32 presaged a move to Washington, D.C., where he helped with his father's campaign for the White House before returning home to Texas... to run the Texas Rangers — and then run for governor. And "P." seems to have learned from W.'s mistake — he's setting his sights lower than W. did for his first run, even if land goes a long way in Texas. Now seems the time for "P." to understand where he stands not just within his party, but within his family, and on the issues his father continues to wrestle with.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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