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Another Bush Waits in the Wings for the West Wing

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(Danville, California)

I have been predicting it for years to mixed reactions. I say Jeb Bush will run for President and has a good chance of winning! Some people agree with me; others, like KGO Radio talk show host and comedian Brian Copeland, disagree. “Ain’t nobody named Bush is ever going to live in the White House again,” Copeland told me during our most recent show on KGO. He may be right, but it won’t be from a lack of their trying.

Now a surprising development has opened the door. Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) has announced he will not run for reelection in 2010. Martinez, who was Secretary of Housing for a couple of years under President George W. Bush, has served only one term in the Senate.

Not many Senators depart after one term, but there may have been a back-room deal with the Bushes. “You hold the seat until Jeb’s ready to run!” may have been how the conversation went.

Jeb Bush served two terms as Governor of Florida and was a lot more popular than his older brother. At the relatively young age of 55, he has time to further build his resume. Jeb has already indicated his interest in the open Senate seat, telling Politico.com he is “considering” a run. I think he has an excellent shot.

As for a White House run, I suspect Bush will pass on 2012, unless the economic crisis worsens. I see him as a more viable candidate in 2016, when he may have one full term in the U.S. Senate under his belt. Plus, he’ll have that much more distance between himself and his unpopular brother George. Going way out on a limb, I'll say that a Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton race is not out of the question! He’ll be 63; she’ll be 69.

In recent days I have written about the importance of the growing Hispanic vote in the United States. It was crucial to Barack Obama’s victory. Relatively speaking, Latinos are far more conservative in Florida, especially those from Cuba. Jeb Bush’s wife is Colombian and they have three children of mixed race. Jeb Bush also speaks fluent Spanish. All this will help in his home state and elsewhere.

Jeb Bush’s son, George P. Bush, has also toyed with running for public office, so look for the Bush legacy to march into its fourth generation. Grandpa Prescott Bush was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut, serving with the likes of John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and Al Gore, Sr. It was quite a class! Of course, Prescott’s son and grandson made it to the White House, and now Jeb appears to be making his plans!

Keep checking in at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

Bill Clinton Should Just Say No to U.S. Senate

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(Danville, California)

Rumors have been swirling during the past week that if Sen. Hillary Clinton is nominated Secretary of State, then her husband, the former President, should be appointed to fill her vacant Senate seat. He could even be there in time to vote on her confirmation. Really!

Now let’s look at history. Ex-Presidents have served after they left office. William Howard Taft became Chief Justice of the United States; John Quincy Adams served in the U.S. House; and Andrew Johnson represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate. So Clinton wouldn’t be breaking any new ground.

However, for Clinton to accept his wife's former seat would smack of nepotism, and that’s not necessarily a good thing these days. Former U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski, of Alaska, resigned his seat when he was elected Governor. Once in the Governor’s office, he appointed his daughter Lisa to fill out his Senate term. Lisa has since been reelected, but Frank was voted out of office in favor of reformer Sarah Palin, who was no fan of the “family affair” in Alaska.

The Clintons have to be worried about a similar backlash. Ever worried about their family legacy, the last thing they need is for Bill to run for reelection to the U.S. Senate and lose. Today a spokesman for Mr. Clinton told CNN that rumors that Clinton wants the Senate seat are “completely false.”

According to the Constitution, Governors make appointments to fill vacant seats in the Senate. For now, vacancies must be filled in Illinois and Delaware, as well as New York. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden has wisely stepped away from consideration to replace his dad.

Among the other names being circulated in New York are those of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President, and Robert Kennedy, Jr., son of the slain New York Senator. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of the former Governor, is also on the list. All should take the high road and decline. Yes, their families have been dedicated to public service for generations, but the U.S. Senate is not an entitlement program. No family “owns” any seats, nor should they.

Maybe Governor David Patterson should instead consider two long-serving House members for promotion, Louise Slaughter and Nydia Velazquez. People should get these jobs based on merit, not on their family name.

Keep coming back to www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

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