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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Jeb Bush Considers Getting Back Into Politics

Forbes has a piece out about Jeb Bush possibly running for the Senate to replace Florida Senator Mel Martinez, who will be retiring in 2010.

From Forbes:

In January 2007, when Jeb Bush stepped down after two terms as governor of Florida, he had cut taxes, enacted the most extensive public school reform in any state, restructured health care and, after dealing with some three dozen hurricanes and tropical storms, earned high marks for crisis management. In a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans, Bush held an approval rating of an astonishing 63%.

Warm, self-deprecating, well-read and articulate, Bush stood in a commanding position to capture the 2008 Republican nomination for president--or would have but for his last name. Conscious that the nation was in no mood to award the White House to a third member of his family, Bush traded the governor's mansion in Tallahassee for a home in Coral Gables, disappearing, aside from the occasional after-dinner speech, into private life. One of the most compelling figures in the GOP--gone.

Until now.

On Tuesday, Florida Sen. Mel Martinez announced that he would retire in 2010, not run for reelection. The Internet instantly began to hum with speculation that Bush would seek to succeed him. That evening, the former governor confirmed in an e-mail to Politico that he was indeed "considering it." "Considering" is hardly "campaigning," but Republicans rejoiced all the same.

Jeb Bush in the Senate. Just imagine it.

The first day he walked into the chamber, Bush would already possess a more impressive record of accomplishment--not talk, accomplishment--than all but a few of his new colleagues. For that matter, his record would compare favorably with those of Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and nearly everyone else in Washington, including President Barack Obama.

Bush would have standing. He would be able to speak with authority. At a time when the Republican Party would almost certainly still find itself on the defensive, he would prove utterly unapologetic.

Read the whole thing.

Follow up with thoughts from Fred Barnes over at the Weekly Standard.