It’s a Bush family reunion in Texas on Tuesday, where former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is teaming up with former commanders-in-chief George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush for a series of fundraisers.
Jeb Bush will join his brother, George, and sister-in-law, former First Lady Laura Bush, in Dallas on Wednesday and his parents in Houston on Thursday per a spokeswoman. Bush is currently soliciting large donations for his Right to Rise PAC, the primary vehicle for his likely 2016 presidential run. The PAC can accept unlimited donations, but cannot coordinate with Bush’s campaign once he announces a run.
The trip demonstrates the advantages of the Bush name, which brings with it decades' worth of fundraising contacts and access to an array of veteran Republican operatives.
Bush has already tapped many of his father and brother’s former White House aides as foreign policy advisers. One of the most prominent of the bunch, former secretary of state under Bush 41 is James Baker, who caused a stir this week when he told left-leaning Israel advocacy group J Street that he was “disappointed” in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to advance peace talks. Bush’s team quickly distanced themselves from his remarks and from J Street.
One of Bush’s biggest obstacles moving forward is finding a balance between utilizing the presidential pedigree his family name gives him and minimizing the baggage it brings with it. Bush is still relatively unpopular in national polls, a position that’s hard to attribute to anything other than his last name.
It’s not just a problem in the general election either. Many Republicans associate his father with tax hikes and his brother with increased government spending — two areas where the party has moved to the right.
“I love my father and my brother,” Bush said in a speech in Chicago last month. “I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions they had to make. But I am my own man — and my views are shaped by my own thinking and own experiences.”