Another Bush prince eyes White House

Lesotho Times - - International -

WASH­ING­TON — He criss­crossed America on his fa­ther Ge­orge HW Bush’s suc­cess­ful 1988 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, and as Florida gov­er­nor he de­liv­ered the state’s votes twice for older brother Ge­orge W.

Fol­low­ing years in the po­lit­i­cal trenches for his fam­ily, Re­pub­li­can Jeb Bush is fi­nally carv­ing out his own path to the White House.

Should he pre­vail in his 2016 cam­paign, which he launched on Monday, Jeb would be the third Bush to oc­cupy the top job as a Re­pub­li­can in a row, an achieve­ment that would ce­ment them as the most pow­er­ful dy­nasty in US his­tory.

The prag­matic con­ser­va­tive will have to con­vince his party’s base that he is in their cor­ner, while main­tain­ing suf­fi­ciently cen­trist po­si­tions to at­tract the in­de­pen­dents needed to win.

Strongly pro-busi­ness and an­tiabor­tion, the 62-year-old has vowed to be a “happy war­rior” on the trail.

He has bucked party or­tho­doxy, mak­ing far-right vot­ers wince at his sup­port for im­mi­gra­tion re­form, con­tro­ver­sial fed­eral ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards and a the­o­ret­i­cal will­ing­ness to hike taxes as part of a deficit-cut­ting deal — vir­tual apos­tasy in Re­pub­li­can cir­cles.

Mr Bush in­sists le­gal­is­ing mil­lions of un­doc­u­mented work­ers is the im­mi­gra­tion de­bate’s “grown-up plan” — one that will fuel eco­nomic growth, un­like the mass de­por­ta­tions ad­vo­cated by some hard-lin­ers.

Fluent in Span­ish, he is more an­a­lyt­i­cal and me­thod­i­cal than his in­stinct-driven brother, more ide­o­log­i­cal and book­ish than his fa­ther.

Mr Bush, who backed the Iraq war but recog­nised “there were mis­takes made” there dur­ing his brother’s pres­i­dency, has also ac­knowl­edged po­ten­tial pit­falls of run­ning on the fam­ily name.

“Jeb is dif­fer­ent than Ge­orge, and Jeb is who he is,” he as­serted in a CNN in­ter­view in Es­to­nia that aired Sun­day at the end of a Europe trip. “My life story is dif­fer­ent.”

Youth­ful in­dis­cre­tions

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