The news that Florida Republican Senator Mel Martinez will not run for re-election in 2010 and might even resign earlier and allow Governor Charlie Crist to give an edge to a successor who would be appointed before the 2010 election stirs speculation as to the possible return of former Governor Jeb Bush to political office, making him the third Bush to serve in Washington, DC.
Other Republicans who might be interested in the Senate seat have made it clear that they would stand aside if Jeb Bush chose to run for the Senate, and Bush himself has made it clear that he is seriously considering it as an option.Â Were he to run or even be appointed ahead of time, he would be a prohibitive favorite to gain or retain the seat, considering his high public opinion rating when he left the Florida governorship in 2006.Â It would be very difficult for any Democrat, including several South Florida congressmen, to take him on and win that seat.
Of course, the possible return of Jeb Bush to elected office makes one wonder if this would be the opening round of a THIRD Bush campaign to run for the Presidency, either in 2012 or 2016.Â It is hard to imagine the country being attracted to another President Bush, but one must recall that it was Jeb who originally was supposed to be a Presidential candidate, had he won the Florida governorship on the first try in 1994.Â The fact that Jeb lost the governorship race to Governor Lawton Chiles by the small margin of 60,000 votes (blamed on the condo Jewish vote in South Florida) and that brother George W won over Ann Richards in Texas the same year placed George W on the road to the White House.Â One would like to believe that had Jeb been the candidate for President and won in 2000, that he would have done a better job in the office than his brother, who is about to leave the Presidency with a negative image and record that few Presidents in the past can match.Â Jeb was always seen as the smarter, more capable son and the favorite of his parents, and this is well portrayed in the movie "W" produced by Oliver Stone.
In any case, imagine if Jeb Bush were to win the Presidency to follow Barack Obama, either by defeating him in 2012 or just following him in 2016.Â That would mean a Presidential succession that would read as follows:Â Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Bush! :)Â Are we ready to accept that?Â I hope NOT!Â And imagine in the future the confusion among students who would wonder in some cases if the name Bush showing up three distinct times was the SAME Bush each time !Â :)Â LOL