‘Eight years of the spot­light’s enough,’ Bush says

Brother Jeb should run for pres­i­dent

The Washington Times Daily - - Television - BY DAVID SHERFINSKI

For­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush says he re­ally doesn’t miss be­ing in of­fice and that his older brother, for­mer Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, should run for pres­i­dent — if he wants to.

Mr. Bush and his wife, for­mer first lady Laura Bush, ap­peared on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno in an episode that aired Tues­day night.

“I re­ally don’t miss the spot­light,” the 43rd pres­i­dent said. “It’s hard for some to be­lieve, but I think eight years of the spot­light’s enough.”

Mr. Leno re­marked that the for­mer pres­i­dent does look more re­laxed.

“No kid­din,’” Mr. Bush said, laugh­ing. “Duh.”

Mr. Bush said he’s com­fort­able with the fact that it’s go­ing to take some time for his­tory to judge the de­ci­sions he made dur­ing his eight years in of­fice.

“I read some bi­ogra­phies on Wash­ing­ton,” he said. “My at­ti­tude is [if] they’re still writin’ bi­ogra­phies on the first guy, the 43rd guy doesn’t need to worry about it.”

Spec­u­la­tion about who might run on the Repub­li­can side to suc­ceed Pres­i­dent Obama has in­cluded talk of Jeb Bush.

For­mer first lady Bar­bara Bush said she doesn’t want Jeb to run de­spite be­ing em­i­nently qual­i­fied, say­ing ear­lier in the year that the coun­try has had enough Bushes. Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush (“41,” as Mr. Bush called him dur­ing the in­ter­view) served as pres­i­dent from 1989 to 1993.

Mrs. Bush’s com­ments came around the time the Ge­orge W. Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum at South­ern Methodist Univer­sity in Dal­las was opened.

“I was sur­prised she even an­swered the ques­tion,” Mr. Bush said. “This is the woman who when I was get­ting ready to run against Gov. Ann Richards in Texas — I called her and said, ‘Hey, Mom, I’m go­ing to to run against Gov. Richards.’ Long pause; she said, ‘You can’t win.’”

“I mean, Jeb should run for pres­i­dent if he wants to — he’d be a great pres­i­dent,” Mr. Bush con­tin­ued.

Mr. Bush, who has taken up paint­ing in his re­tire­ment, gave Mr. Leno a por­trait he had painted of the co­me­dian.

“I do take paint­ing se­ri­ously, it’s changed my life, and I brought a paint­ing for you,” Mr. Bush said be­fore pre­sent­ing it to him.

“I can’t make fun of him now,” Mr. Leno re­sponded.

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