MIAMI (AFP) – In a case of strange political bedfellows, US President Barack Obama and Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents, shared a stage in Florida to push for education reform on Friday.
Bush, the former governor of the Sunshine State, teamed up with Obama at a school in Miami turned around during his administration between 1999 and 2007.
Bush, son of president George Bush senior, and brother of Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush, offered Obama a brief introduction at the high school, saying education was not a Democratic or Republican issue.
Obama gently pulled his host’s leg, joking that “aside from being a former governor of this great state, Jeb, of course, is best known as the brother of…. Marvin Bush,” naming the lesser known Bush brother, a businessman.
“Apparently the rest of the family also did some work back in Washington back in the day,” Obama said.
Jeb Bush is sometimes mentioned as an outside shot for the Republican presidential ticket in 2008 or 2012.
But many analysts think it is unlikely that American voters would turn to another Bush in a presidential election, especially since George W. Bush had low approval ratings when he left office in 2009.
Obama has made education reform a priority for this year, and wanted to appear with Bush to seek support for a bipartisan push in Congress on the issue.
“Education and education reform are not Democratic issues, they’re not Republican issues, they’re American issues,” Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.