Texas Republicans have an answer to critics who charge they are ignoring demographic changes and are unwilling to evolve. They have an answer to those who claim that Republicans need a fresh start and a significant re-branding if they hope to survive. They have found the answer of who can be a leader of the Texas Republican Party through this difficult time. Their answer, is George Bush.
No, unfortunately I'm not talking about the “misunderestimated” former President in hiding, but his nephew, George Prescott Bush.
The Washington Post reported last week that George P. Bush had made the necessary campaign filings to run for office in Texas. For a few days speculation of what office that might be circulated around Texas political circles. Unfortunately, it appears, we will not see Bush challenge George Bush impersonator Governor Rick Perry, in what would be an enormously entertaining Republican Civil War. At least not yet.
Reports indicate that Bush is eyeing the job of Texas Land Commissioner, who authorizes exploration and exploitation of public lands. Generally, this includes leasing for gas and oil production, mining, grazing, and monitoring the environmental quality of public lands and waters.
The news was broken by Bush's father, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in a fundraising letter . Governor Bush writes, “The office that George is considering running for is Land Commissioner which overseas the mineral rights, commercial real estate owned and sovereign submerged lands of the State of Texas as well as veterans affairs and historic archives.” He goes on to praise George's accomplishments and record and pleads for a donation to his campaign.
The Bush family's reemergence into Texas politics through George P. Bush was inevitable. Bush has been building his brand through his work as the co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas, a group that seeks to elect Hispanic candidates, and in his outreach to college students.
Even Texas Republicans are smart enough to understand that they have a big problem with the increasingly active and vocal Latino population, and this George Bush will play a pivotal role in their plan to compete. It would be wise to view this move by Bush as the start of much bigger plans. Fox News Latino (Yes this actually exists) even wrote that George P. Bush has begun his “road to the White House.” This is premature of course, but Texas Democrats need to understand the potential significance and ramifications of the return of the Bush machine.
I would hope our nation is smart enough not to elect a third George Bush to the Presidency. As a wise President once said, “Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can't get fooled again.”