Enter George W. Bush

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 14, 1999 | Go to article overview

Enter George W. Bush


From the border state of Texas, "The Big Enchilada" - to use a favorite metaphor of that crafty political strategist, Richard M. Nixon - has tossed his ten-gallon hat into the 2000 presidential campaign. George W. Bush - the son of a former president, the grandson of a former U.S. senator from Connecticut, the brother of the governor of Florida and, in his own right, the twice-elected governor of Texas, the nation's second-most-populous state - left do doubt in Iowa on Saturday. He intends to build upon the Bush political legacy. "I am running for president," he said. "And there is no turning back."

Even if Mr. Bush's Texas-sized cowboy hat weren't weighed down with more than $15 million in contributions his campaign has raised so far this year, it would have still been unable to reach the heights of the "Great Expectations" that many in the GOP have for his presidential candidacy. Republican governors, who occupy 31 gubernatorial mansions and, presumably, exert significant control over statewide political operations, have overwhelmingly urged Mr. Bush to run. Fourteen GOP senators have already endorsed him. Add to that the 114 Republican House members - that's more than half the caucus - who have pledged their allegiance to a Bush campaign. Mr. Bush also enjoys wide margins of support among lesser Republican Party members, judging from the polls. Not bad for a fellow whose five-year-old political career is still in its formative years, so young, in fact, that if it were a child, it couldn't qualify for kindergarten.

What seems to be the attraction? To be frank, Mr. Bush is viewed as having the best chance to return the control of the White House, the executive branch and the nominations of federal judges to the GOP. Having controlled the White House for 20 of the 24 years from 1969 through 1992 but having been shut out of the White House since then, the Republican hierarchy has correctly realized that, without occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. …

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