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Posts tagged ‘Barbara Bush’

Republicans Brace for Sign that Jeb Bush May Run in 2016.


By all appearances, former Florida governor Jeb Bush is a man on a mission.

His itinerary for the next several weeks includes stops in Tennessee, New Mexico and Nevada to appear with Republican candidates in this fall’s elections or help them raise money for their campaigns.

And then he speaks at a dinner ahead of a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting featuring several potential Republican presidential contenders at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave over $100 million to Republican candidates in 2012.

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

So what, exactly, is Jeb Bush up to? Could Bush, 61, the son of a U.S. president and the brother of another, quietly be laying the groundwork for a historic attempt to become the third member of his family to occupy the White House?

When Bush is asked if he will run in 2016, he deflects, saying he will decide by the end of this year based on family considerations and whether he thinks he can run “joyfully.”

Bush’s spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, declined to comment.

But several other people close to him say that now more than ever, there are signs he might look past several potential hurdles – including polls that suggest Americans are not exactly enthralled with the idea of another President Bush – and seriously consider stepping into the fray.

At this point in previous election cycles when his name has surfaced, Bush has told friends, staffers and fellow Florida politicians that he would not run. However, he “has not given anyone the wave-off at this point” for 2016, said a Washington-based Republican strategist familiar with Bush’s discussions about the presidency.

To the contrary, this strategist said, Bush has in place an “inner circle” of fewer than a dozen people who are in regular contact with him weighing the pros and cons of running. “They are at the beginning of a very serious conversation.”

A former Bush campaign aide who remains in contact with the former governor said this year’s speculation is more warranted than that in previous years: “He’s really giving it true consideration. Possibly if you’d asked two years ago, we’d say, ‘Oh gosh, I don’t think he’d do this.’ But I think he’s giving it a real, serious look now.”

Former Republican senator Mel Martinez of Florida, who was secretary of housing and urban development during the presidency of Bush’s brother, George W. Bush, said that in Jeb Bush’s south Florida there is a growing belief among political observers that he is leaning toward joining what promises to be a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders.

Republican strategists said that Bush – whose eight years as Florida’s governor ended in January 2007 – could change the dynamic of the Republican nomination battle and provide a defining moment for a party struggling with a divide between conservative Tea Party activists and more moderate members of the Republican establishment.

There are no declared candidates yet, but the race for the Republican nomination appears to be shaping up as a contest largely among staunch conservatives favored by the Tea Party movement, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, libertarian Republican Rand Paul and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. A more moderate potential candidate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been caught up in a political scandal that has made some Wall Street donors nervous about his prospects.

A campaign by Bush, a face of the party establishment, could challenge arguments of Tea Party activists and others on the right who see losses by John McCain and Mitt Romney in the last two presidential elections as reasons the party should nominate a more strictly conservative candidate.

For big-money Republican donors, strategist Matt Mackowiak said, Bush would represent a marquee name in U.S. politics that could attract the support beyond the far-right Republican base that will be needed to win a general election. He could also bring enough star power to vie against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who officials in both parties expect to run and win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bush is the donor class’ first choice in his home state, said Florida Bankers Association president and Romney campaign bundler Alex Sanchez.

 

‘JEB IS THE EXCEPTION’

For pundits, political observers and history lovers, the prospect of a Bush-Clinton battle for the White House would be a dream matchup: a showdown between two branches of America’s political royalty.

Recent early polls have suggested that if he were to run, Jeb Bush would be weighed down by Americans’ lingering attitudes toward his brother, who left office in January 2009 as one of the least popular presidents in U.S. history. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this month, nearly half of the voters surveyed said they “definitely would not” vote for Jeb Bush in 2016 – a level of disapproval matched only by Romney.

Even Bush’s mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, has been lukewarm about the notion of another son running for president.

“There’s no question in my mind that Jeb is the best qualified person to run for president, but I hope he won’t, because he’ll get all my enemies, all his brother’s,” Barbara Bush, wife of George H.W. Bush, told C-SPAN in January. She softened her stance in an interview with Fox News this month, saying that “maybe it’s OK” if Jeb were to run.

For a Republican Party desperate to broaden its appeal among the nation’s fast-growing and Democratic-leaning Hispanic population, a figure like Jeb Bush could be significant. He speaks Spanish and his wife, Columba, was born in Mexico. Bush – who won 61 percent of Florida’s Hispanic vote in his 1998 governor’s race, according to exit polls – has backed legal status, but not full citizenship, for undocumented immigrants. This compromise drew conservative fire when Bush’ promoted his book “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution” in 2013.

As governor, he also stressed using standardized test scores as metrics of school and teacher performances, an emphasis at the center of a nationwide debate in U.S. education. Bush, who runs an education foundation, has also promoted the idea of allowing parents and students a choice of which public school to attend.

Bush headlined a Republican National Committee fundraising lunch in southern California in February and spoke to a group of New York-area business leaders less than two weeks later. He also appeared in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement for the Republican candidate in a Florida special congressional election, and campaigned with his son, George P. Bush, who is running for Texas Land Commissioner.

In the coming weeks Bush will raise money for or appear with a slate of Republicans up for re-election in 2014: Senator Lamar Alexander and Governor Bill Haslam in Tennessee, Governor Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Governor Brian Sandoval in Nevada.

Some Bush allies reject the idea that his recent activity reflects a building desire to run for president.

“People who know a lot aren’t talking, and the people who are talking don’t know. He’s made clear he’s going to be deliberate and methodical in the way he goes about this,” said former Florida congressman Tom Feeney, who ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Bush in 1994 and remains close with him.

Several Republican strategists and Bush loyalists said it would take less time for Bush to organize a full-scale campaign team than it would for someone like Walker or Cruz, thanks to his family’s experience and connections. They also dismissed concerns that Bush would have trouble running a modern campaign, given that he has not run for office since 2002 – before the age of Twitter and the Tea Party.

“Jeb is the exception,” said Mackowiak. “The time it takes to build a national finance operation for one of those other candidates? He only has to spend a fraction of that to get his together. … The clock is ticking for him, it’s just ticking more slowly.”

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Barbara Bush Remains in Hospital With Breathing Problem.


Image: Barbara Bush Remains in Hospital With Breathing Problem
 

Former first lady Barbara Bush remained hospitalized in Houston on Wednesday, suffering from a respiratory ailment, a spokesman for her husband‘s office said.

Bush, 88, both the wife and mother of U.S. presidents, was admitted on Monday to Methodist Hospital in Houston’s Texas Medical Center, according to the office of former President George H.W. Bush.

She was being treated for a “respiratory-related issue,” her husband’s office said.

There was no new information on her condition as of Wednesday morning, according to Jim McGrath, a spokesman for her husband’s office.

She was in good spirits and was receiving visits from her husband and family, the office said on Tuesday.

Bush is the wife of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, and mother of George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president.

She was known to the American public as a no-nonsense wife and mother who said she was more interested in running a household than in helping her husband run the country.

After leaving the White House, she pursued her interest in promoting literacy and reading and also wrote her memoirs.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

George and Barbara Witness a Wedding: When a Private Act Sends a Public Message.


George and Barbara Witness a Wedding: When a Private Act Sends a Public Message

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara attended a wedding a few days ago, and it made national news. According to The Washington Post, the elder Bushes attended the wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, held at Kennebunkport, Maine. The two lesbians, co-owners of a general store in neighboring Kennebunk, were married in an outdoor celebration attended by family and friends. The 41st President of the United States was present, along with the former First Lady. Bonnie Clement told The Washington Post, “Who would be best to acknowledge the importance of our wedding as our friends and as the former leader of the free world? When they agreed to do so we just felt that it was the next acknowledgement of being ‘real and normal.’”

As it turns out, President Bush did not merely attend the wedding. He also served as an official witness, signing the legal documents for the ceremony and the Maine wedding license. Under a photograph with the former president the couple added the words, “Getting our marriage license witnessed!”

No one should be surprised by the opening line of the report in The Washington Post: “Another prominent Republican has come out in support of same-sex marriage — or, at least, in support of one particular same-sex marriage.” Similarly, the “Daily Intelligencer” column at New York Magazine declared that George and Barbara Bush are apparently in favor of same-sex marriage “since they not only attended a lesbian couple’s wedding on Saturday, but served as witnesses as well.”

The news coverage of the Bushes’ attendance at the same-sex wedding points to a reality that must be understood — and fast. Attendance at a wedding is not a neutral act. The history and context of the wedding ceremony identify all those present as agreeing to the rightness of the marriage and acting as witnesses to the exchange of vows. This is why the venerable language of The Book of Common Prayer, used in the overwhelming majority of Christian weddings, calls upon anyone with knowledge that the proposed union is invalid to speak, “or forever hold his peace.” Anyone remaining silent at that point is affirming the rightness and validity of the marriage, and all who are present are counted as both witnesses and those who celebrate the union.

This issue arose two years ago when controversy erupted over comments that Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen made on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. In response to a question from Morgan, Osteen said that he would not officiate at a same-sex wedding. Morgan then pressed him by asking if Osteen would attend a same-sex wedding. Osteen replied:

Well, I haven’t been to many weddings lately to begin with and I’m talking about somebody that was, you know, dear to us. I’m not going to disrespect somebody that’s dear to us and say, you know what, you’re not good enough for us or something like that. That’s the way that I would see it. Now, I’m not going to just run off and go attend, you know, certain marriages just to make a statement because that’s not who I am and that’s not what I stand for and, again, I don’t look down on those people.

That is incoherence, and even Piers Morgan saw through it. It is incoherent to say that you cannot officiate at a same-sex wedding because you believe it to be wrong, and then turn around and say that you would attend a same-sex wedding and join in the celebration. Beyond incoherence, it is ministerial malpractice and bearing false witness.

We must certainly understand the relational challenges and the predicaments that this poses forChristians who do not believe that same-sex marriage is right in the sight of God. Those who would affirm same-sex marriage and the normalization of homosexuality must defy the clear teachings of Scripture. Christians cannot affirm what the Bible defines as sin, and yet that is what is demanded of us in our current cultural context. One of the hardest issues for every Christian will be the responsibility to relate to everyone we know with both love and truth.

But it is truth that protects love from dissolving into mere sentimentality. Likewise, it is love that prevents truth from being reduced to impersonal abstractions. At some point or another, almost all of us will be put into the situation Piers Morgan asked Joel Osteen to consider. At some point, we will either attend a same-sex ceremony, or we will not. Declining to attend will come with undeniable relational consequences, but so would attending. As one believer who struggles with same-sex attraction recently told me, “It does not help when fellow Christians send mixed signals.” We cannot allow our love to lapse into sentimentality, even as we love those who plan to enter into what we know is not and cannot be marriage. Note carefully that Bonnie Clement spoke of the Bushes’ presence at the wedding as a powerful affirmation that the union was “real and normal.”

A spokesman for President and Mrs. Bush said that the former first couple attended the wedding as “private citizens attending a private ceremony for two friends.” There are two problems with this account. First, if the Bushes were simply private citizens, there would have been no news story. After all, Bonnie Clement told the newspaper that President Bush had been invited as a friend “and as the former leader of the free world.” Needless to say, being identified as “former leader of the free world” is not a private matter. Second, a wedding is not actually a private affair. That marriage license was not filed with friends, but with a legal authority. And that legal document, available for public view as a public record, lists George H.W. Bush as an official witness to the union. The Washington Post had every good reason to declare that the former president had “come out in support of same-sex marriage.”

But, this is not just about the Bushes. The same predicament remains, even if we are not the former leader of the free world. To be present at a wedding is to affirm that it is right, whether you sign a legal document or not.

No one said this was going to be easy, and this is hardly the end of the predicaments and perplexities that will challenge Christians who stand on biblical teaching in the days ahead. This is one question, however, that Christians had better think through fast. A wedding invitation might soon be headed your way.

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me at mail@albertmohler.com. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbertMohler.

Publication date: October 2, 2013

Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Obama Praises George H.W. Bush for Volunteer Work.


Image: Obama Praises George H.W. Bush for Volunteer Work

By Courtney Coren

Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush made a return visit to the White House Monday to join President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in presenting the 5,000th award from the Points of Light Foundation for volunteerism.

Obama honored Bush and poured praise on him for creating the Points of Light Foundation and Award, which began as a way to honor work in community service, and was named after a phrase from Bush’s 1989 inaugural address in which he referred to Americans helping each other as “a thousand points of light,” The New York Daily News reports. 

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“You’ve described for us those thousand points of light — all the people and organizations spread out all across the country who are like stars brightening the lives of those around them,” Obama said, according to NBC News.  “But given the humility that’s defined your life, I suspect it’s harder for you to see something that’s clear to everybody else around you, and that’s how bright a light you shine.”

“On behalf of all of us, let me just say that we are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you, and we can’t thank you enough,” Obama added.

The 5,000th Points of Light award was presented by Bush, Barbara Bush, the president, and the first lady to Kathy Hamilton and Floyd Hammer, who co-founded Outreach, a leading national charity.

Obama gave credit to Bush for creating a movement of volunteerism and community service during and after his presidency.

“In addition to this award, he created the first White House office dedicated to promoting volunteerism, and he championed and signed the National and Community Service Act,” Obama said.

The law opened the door for the federal volunteer program, AmeriCorps.

The Points of Light Foundation is the world’s largest volunteer organization that works to coordinate community service projects, which Bush created during his presidency. The 41st president serves as the honorary chairman of the foundation, and his son Neil is the president.

“Volunteerism has gone from something some people do some of the time to something lots of people do as a regular part of their lives,” Obama said.

Urgent: Has the US Entered Another Bubble Economy? Will It Burst? Vote Now 

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

George H.W. Bush Returns to White House.


President Barack Obama will salute volunteer efforts by former President George H.W. Bush on Monday and launch a task force to expand national service, a White House official said.

At a White House event, Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will honor the 5,000th “Daily Point of Light” award recognizing a volunteer or nonprofit service providing organization. Bush, who will attend, established the award in 1989 as part of his efforts to recognize and promote volunteer work.

The two presidents were last together at the dedication of the presidential library of Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush, in April. Bush, 89, was confined to a wheelchair at that event.

The award is going to an Iowa couple, Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, who are the founders of a nonprofit that delivers free meals to children in the United States and around the world.

Former first lady Barbara Bush will also be attend the event. Afterward, the Bushes and the Obamas will have lunch together, a White House official said.

The meeting with the Bushes comes two weeks after the president participated at a event in Tanzania with former President George W. Bush.

Obama is expected to announce the creation of a new task force that will identify ways to enlist private sector support for national voluntary service, the White House official said.

In the past year, the government has created volunteer groups that work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on disaster response and with the Education Department to improve school performance, the White House said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Bush Family at Odds Over Possible Jeb Bush Presidential Run.


Jeb Bush
Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. (Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons)

The Bush family, which has already produced two U.S. presidents, is at odds over whether there should be a third—former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Former first lady Barbara Bush, says son Jeb is the most qualified Republican to run in 2016 but told NBC’s Today show, “We’ve had enough Bushes.”

Former President George W. Bush takes the other side in the intra-family debate.

“He would be a marvelous candidate if he chooses to do so,” he told ABC News. “He doesn’t need my counsel because he knows what it is, which is: ‘Run.’ But whether he does or not is a very personal decision.”

Barbara Bush, known for her blunt talk, said of her second-born son, “There are other people out there that are very qualified … He’s the most qualified but I don’t think he’ll run.”

The conflicting messages come as the 43rd president, who held office from 2001 to 2009, prepared to unveil his presidential library in Dallas, accompanied by all the living U.S. presidents, including his father, George H.W. Bush, who occupied the White House from 1989 through 1992.

The library opening will highlight George W. Bush’s two stormy terms, which included the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the 2008 financial crisis.

The event also puts the Bush family back in the spotlight at a time their Republican Party is reassessing following losses in the 2012 presidential campaign and is struggling to redefine itself.

Bush and his father have represented a more traditional side of the Republican Party, which now faces challenges from its more strident Tea Party wing.

Polls have shown Jeb Bush trailing other Republicans such as Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both favorites of the Tea Party movement.

A Public Policy Polling survey earlier this month found 12 percent of potential voters said they would most like to see Jeb Bush as the Republican candidate in 2016, while Rubio topped out with 21 percent, followed by Paul with 17 percent.

John Adams (1797-1801) and John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) are the only other father and son to serve as U.S. presidents.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.


Reporting by Susan Heavey; Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Dallas; Editing by Bill Trott

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

George W. Says Jeb Should ‘Run’ for White House.


Former President George W. Bush summed up his position on whether his younger brother, Jeb, should seek the White House in 2016 with just one word: “Run!

“He would be great. He’d be a marvelous candidate if he chooses to do so. He doesn’t need my counsel ’cause he knows what it is, which is ‘run,’” the former president said of his younger brother, the former governor of Florida.

“But whether he does or not, it’s a very personal decision,” he added in an interview with ABC News Wednesday night.

But the former president got some push-back Thursday morning from his own mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, who said on the NBC “Today” program that she would prefer Jeb not run.

“We’ve had enough Bushes,” she said.

Related: Barbara Bush on Jeb run

Bush spoke to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer ahead of the formal opening of his presidential library and museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Bush, who was the country’s 43rd president, even mused about a potential match-up between his brother and Hillary Clinton.

“It’ll be a fantastic photo here. It would certainly eclipse the museum and the center,” he said.

He added, “I’m interested in politics. I’m, you know, I’m fascinated by all the gossip and stuff that goes on. But the field won’t become clear till after the midterms.”

Asked whether he had any advice to offer the Republican Party, he said with a smile, “You will exist in the future.”

The George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU opens to the public Wednesday with a star-studded list of guests, including former presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also attend, and President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melanie Batley

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