Tags: | jeb | bush | endorsement | gop

Jeb Bush Endorsement Seen as Big GOP Prize

Sunday, 25 Dec 2011 10:48 AM

Jeb Bush Sr.'s endorsement has become one of the most coveted by the field of Republican hopefuls.

While his son, Jeb Jr. endorsed Jon Huntsman Jr. and sibling George P. praised Rick Perry,  and his father, George H.W., endorsed Romney last week,  Bush Sr.'s endorsement remains elusive, The New York Times reports.

Former President George W. Bush has said he isn't planning on endorsing at the moment, so that leaves Jeb Sr., who many see as the next President Bush, as the biggest prize in the primary.

Reports the Times:

"The current presidential election cycle is the first since 1976 to be taking place without a Bush in a statewide or national office or seeking a national office. Yet the Bush family primary — a behind-the-scenes drama that has been playing out in the GOP contest for months — is taking on as much significance as ever.

To win an endorsement even from the most obscure of the Bushes — George W. siblings Marvin and Doro have backed Romney — is to share in a political brand that bestows legitimacy and open doors."

And because the family is dispersing its support among various campaigns, the candidates who are seeking to be the GOP nominee are left to fight for the next best thing: personal support of one of the Bushes.

Jeb Sr.,  58, a two-term Florida governor, has spent most of the cycle refuting suggestions he'll jump into the 2012 contest. But with his ability to deliver Florida's Jan. 31 primary, and his popularity among Hispanic voters (not to mention his Mexican-American wife), the campaigns have come a calling.

Bush has been aloof about whether he'll endorse, choosing instead to play the role of above-the-fray advisor.

He told the Washington Post in August that the candidates indeed have courted him and in August, he told his former aide at SayfieReview.com that:

“I don’t know if endorsements matter, but this is a hugely important election,” he said, adding later: “Given the nature of how important this is, I might get involved.”

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