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Bush could run for U.S. Senate (Jeb - not George)

By Jimmy Orr / December 3, 2008

Jake Turcotte

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Good news for Bush fans.  There could be many more years of Bush in Washington.

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No, President George W. Bush is not planning a military coup in an attempt to serve four more years.  Rather, his brother Jeb is considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

Getting the Mel outta here

Tuesday, Florida Senator Mel Martinez announced he is not interested in running for a second six-year term.  And unless he pulls a Brett Favre and unretires, we'll take him at his word.

That means the floodgates have opened and there is an opening in the Florida congressional delegation.

Exclusive club

Now, in some states getting into the senatorial club takes forever.  Thinking of becoming a U.S. Senator in Massachusetts, Hawaii, or West Virginia?  Good luck.

Bob Byrd has represented the Mountain State longer than Barack Obama has been alive.  Senators Inouye and Kennedy began serving in the Senate while Obama was just learning to walk in Indonesia Hawaii.

Maybe, maybe not

Florida, on the other hand, presents potential Senators with more opportunity. And former Governor Bush is looking at that opportunity.

The younger Bush told Politico yesterday evening that he was interested.

“I am considering it," he said.

Endorsement

And Chris Cizilla at the Washington Post reports that Representative Connie Mack IV (one who has been mentioned as a possible candidate) gave Bush a thumbs-up this afternoon.

"Jeb Bush has a proven track record of leadership that would once again benefit the people of Florida, and indeed the entire nation," said Mack. "He would make an outstanding United States Senator."

Lowdown

Many Republican politicians had to distance themselves from President Bush this year while running for office.  The low-approval-rating thing appeared to be a hindrance of sorts.

Even in Florida, President Bush isn't the most popular.  His last approval rating?  Nine.

Note there are no other numbers around that "nine."  It's just nine.

No Bush

The always-helpful Paul Begala over at CNN offered Bush some guidance this afternoon.

"Let me give him some free advice," said Begala. "Change your name. Run as John Ellis, not John Ellis Bush. The Bush brand is probably what croaked Mel Martinez."

Not a problem

Perhaps Jeb doesn't have to worry about it, however.  When he left office, his approval ratings were above 60.  And two years is a long time away.

Besides, according to the assistant director of Quinnipiac's polling institute, the two brothers dealt with vastly different issues and voters can tell them apart.

"Florida voters have always been able to distinguish between Jeb Bush and George Bush. It's that simple. They thought he was a good governor, they thought his brother was a lousy president," said Peter Brown. "The things that made President Bush unpopular were not things that Gov. Bush had to deal with — the national economy and the war."

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