Douglas Brinkley: Ignore Barbara Bush’s 'No-More-Bushes' Quip

Thursday, 25 Apr 2013 05:52 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Barbara Bush’s comment that “We’ve had enough Bushes’’ in the White House, won’t stop her son Jeb from running if he gets the political itch, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley says.

“My jaw dropped when I heard Barbara Bush say that to [NBC’s] Matt Lauer,’’ Brinkley told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’

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“Then I realized that Barbara Bush tends to be that way and there are reasons why she said what she said.

“I don’t think it’s a deal breaker but it’s going to make a lot of news … But I don’t think I’d make too much out of it. It’s just her being a mom that’s kind of tired of seeing her kids getting beat up in the press.’’

Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University, said the former First Lady’s surprise quip doesn’t necessarily hurt Jeb, the popular onetime governor of Florida.

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“I don’t think it hurts him. I don’t think it helps him either. The positive, it’s a lot of name recognition. There’s going to be a lot of attention on the father [George H.W. Bush] due to his frail health. And so, it kind of neutralizes itself,’’ he said.

He also noted that with the war in Iraq during George W. Bush’s presidency still fresh in the nation’s memory, “it is a little bit of a hindrance for Jeb Bush.’’

Still, Brinkley predicted, “If he decides to run, he will become automatically the proverbial frontrunner.’’

So far, Jeb Bush has straddled the fence when asked about throwing his hat in the ring, saying while he’s not planning on it, he hasn’t ruled it out.

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