George W. Bush’s wealthy younger brother announced Tuesday that he was forming an exploratory committee for a 2016 run for the White House.
“Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!” former Florida governor Jeb Bush said in a message on Facebook. “Like many of you, our family was blessed with the opportunity to gather together over the recent Thanksgiving holiday.”
“Columba and I are so proud of the wonderful adults our children have become, and we loved spending time with our three precious grandchildren. We shared good food and watched a whole lot of football.”
“We also talked about the future of our nation,” Bush, who has long been considered a potential 2016 candidate, continued. “As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.”
“In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”
“In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America.”
Bush has insisted that his family name will not hurt him if he decides to run for president, but commentators have pointed out that he has a “Romney problem.” Like the defeated 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, Bush has a career in off-shore private equity.
Political commentators from across the political spectrum were less than enthusiastic about the announcement.
Jeb jumping in early to prevent Romney from doing so and sucking all the money out of the room. Can't imagine Romney running now.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 16, 2014
#ReadyForJeb is as electrifying as it sounds.
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) December 16, 2014
I have announced an exploratory mission to see if there are any twitter jokes still undiscovered about Jeb Bush's exploratory presidency.
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) December 16, 2014
While others were dismayed by the direction the country seemed to be headed.
Having a Bush v. Clinton race would be appropriate as the country hurtles towards full oligarchy.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) December 16, 2014