In normal times, a Republican elected official deciding to support a sitting Republican president for reelection would not be newsworthy. However, the era of Trump is anything but normal. In this case the Republican in question is George Prescott Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush and grandson of former President and Vice-President George H.W. Bush.
George P. is currently serving as the Texas Land Commissioner, an elected position in Texas. He made his statement of support for the President this past Tuesday to the Dallas Morning News and the Texas Tribune. It is reported that he said Trump is currently the only thing standing between America and socialism. Furthermore, he cited Trump’s economic track record and noted that under the President’s leadership the economy is already well on the way to recovering from the Coronavirus setback.
This statement of support comes shortly after a series of prominent Republicans stated that their support for the President was wavering or that they had already made the decision to vote for Biden. Some of these republicans are Mitt Romney, Colin Powell, and Lisa Murkowski. Even a former member of Trump’s own administration has come out against him, this being former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Perhaps most surprising, in light of George P’s statement, is that other members of the Bush family have expressed dissatisfaction with the President as well.
Jeb Bush has indicated that his support for the President’s reelection is not for sure. This is no surprise as he didn’t support Trump in 2016 either. Earlier this week, it was reported that George W. Bush didn’t plan on supporting Trump in November either. Although that report has since been called into question, he has still not stated definitively that he would indeed be voting for Trump.
The feud between Trump and the Bushes stretches back to the 2016 election when Trump defeated Jeb in the primary and often ridiculed him in the way that only Trump can. He labelled Jeb as “Low energy” and repeatedly attacked the administration of George W. Bush. In particular, he had issues with George W’s war in Iraq and his policy on trade with China and Latin America.
So, with this much bad blood between Trump and the Bush brothers, why would George P. want to support the President. The answer is simple: politics. George P. is currently in his second term as the Texas Land Commissioner. But it is very likely that he has his eyes on bigger prizes. Two such prizes are the Governorship of Texas and the office of Lieutenant Governor. Additionally, there is the possibility of open Senate seats in the future and perhaps, one day, he could be the third Bush to occupy the oval office.
At 44, George P. is still young enough to have any of these as an ambition. He also possesses that special charisma that can open these doors for him. But all of these possibilities can disappear now if he makes foolish decisions. One such decision would be opposing Trump who is still popular in the Republican Party and in Texas. As it stands right now, offending Trump could be a career ender.
During World War II, dictator of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin had a special military unit of snipers who job was not to kill the enemy, but rather to pick off any Soviet soldiers who turned and ran during battle. This helped ensure that the Soviet army as a whole kept moving against the enemy in force.
Trump has used the tool of Twitter in much the same way. Not only does he go after Democrats, but Republicans who oppose him or are insufficient allies in his many fights are open game as well. The fear of a Twitter beat down keeps a lot of Republicans moving in the right direction on the battlefield of American politics.
The Bush dynasty was defeated in 2016, but it was not destroyed. With young, charismatic George P. moving up the ranks there is a real possibility that we will continue to see this family help shape the future of this country. And, assuming Trumpism endures, the future Bush’s will be its ally instead of its speedbump.