Jeb Bush to fol­low in fa­ther’s foot­steps

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By maryclaire Dale

PHILADEL­PHIA — It might not be the White House, but former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will fol­low in his fa­ther’s foot­steps as head of the Na­tional Con­sti­tu­tion Cen­ter in Philadel­phia.

The younger Bush on Thurs­day was named the next chair­man of the Philadel­phia mu­seum, a job former Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush held from 2007 to 2008. An­other former pres­i­dent, Bill Clin­ton, has held the post the past four years.

Bush, 59, said he feels a cul­tural shift brew­ing in the United States. He’s been read­ing up on U.S. and world his­tory to try to pre­pare for it.

“I think … there’s go­ing to be a time of cul­tural change in our coun­try,” Bush said, “and typ­i­cally th­ese have been done in ways that peo­ple didn’t an­tic­i­pate.

“I want to learn about the past so I can think about the fu­ture,” he said.

But asked if a run for pres­i­dent is in his fu­ture in 2016, Bush de­murred and changed the topic.

Bush him­self is bilin­gual, and led a di­verse, im­mi­grant-rich pop­u­la­tion as gov­er­nor of Florida from 1999 to 2007.

He said he hopes to fill “a crit­i­cal void in our coun­try” as he car­ries out the cen­ter’s mis­sion of im­prov­ing civic ed­u­ca­tion and en­gage­ment.

And he joked that he was hon­ored to fol­low Clin­ton as chair­man be­cause the Demo­crat and some­time Bush fam­ily ri­val has be­come like “a brother from an­other mother.”

“He has devel­oped a re­la­tion­ship with my dad that is very mov­ing,” he said. “Th­ese guys have be­come really close.”

The cen­ter ex­plores con­sti­tu­tional ideals through its mu­seum ex­hibits, which in­clude rare ar­ti­facts, a the­ater, and Sign­ers’ Hall. The Con­sti­tu­tion Cen­ter also hosts pub­lic lec­tures and de­bates, and houses the An­nen­berg Cen­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion and Outreach.

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