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DADDY'S BOY

How the world feels about the prospect of extending the Bush dynasty in the White House

Reuters/Jason Reed
Excited to maybe run for president.
  • Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

Jeb Bush, scion of an American political dynasty, announced on social media that he was considering running for the office previously held by his brother and father. Exposing himself to widespread internet mockery, he wrote in a highly cautious Facebook post that he decided to ”actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.”

The media didn’t take it as cautiously: The news was quickly picked up around the world, from Germany and Canada to China and Iran.

International news outlets described his political views, focusing on his moderate outlook on immigration and conservative social politics.

The French Le Monde called Bush the “pragmatic Republican,” especially regarding immigration issues.

Much of the coverage frames Bush as a legacy candidate, part of a powerful political clan. Germany’s Der Spiegel painted the 2016 election as a possible “duel between two political dynasties,” referring to the anticipated candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

Using language familiar to the British political system, The Independent wrote gleefully about “the man who could be next in line to the Bush presidential throne.” The article, which refers to Bush as a “daddy’s boy,” outlines his professional pursuits and describes his family in detail, including his daughter’s problems with substance abuse.

The leading paper of the United Arab Emirates, The National, published a provocative piece from a Doha-based British commentator Sholto Byrnes entitled, “Whisper it quietly, but the US needs another Bush.” Byrnes says that “for a supposedly meritocratic and non-aristocratic republic, America has a great softness for political dynasties.”

Byrne argues that Bush’s pragmatic stance on issues like immigration, education and abortion make him an appealing candidate to both moderates and conservatives, which would be a “gift” for US democracy. A moderate leader, in turn, would make the right political impression globally, he adds. “That, in this time of crimes against every civilised norm—from the CIA revelations to the brutalities of ISIL—would be more welcome than ever.”

The announcement caught the attention of Spain, where leading newspaper El Pais pointed out that Bush is one of few top-level American officials to speak fluent Spanish. “It’s the day-to-day language at his home,” the paper says, noting that his wife is Mexican. “His father, president George H.W. Bush, called his grandchildren ‘los morenitos.'” (The term, which translates to ”the little darkies,” is actually a term of endearment in Spanish.)

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