The parent-and-child relationship is a fraught one, as anyone who has been either a parent or child can attest.
But those push-pull tensions are all the more acute when the parent is a former first lady and the mother of a former president and the son is a talked-about possibility for a third family turn in the White House.
In a C-SPAN interview released this week, Barbara Bush made quite clear her feelings about a possible Jeb Bush presidential candidacy in 2016.
“If we can’t find more than two or three families to run for higher office, that’s silly, because there are great governors and great people eligible to run,” she said in the interview taped last fall and set to air Monday as part the cable channel’s series on first ladies. “There are a lot of ways to serve, and being president is not the only one, and I would hope that someone else would run.”
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She said there was no doubt in her mind “that Jeb is the best-qualified person to run for president.” But, she emphasized: “I hope he won’t.”
It is not the first time she has splashed cold water on the notion of a Bush presidential trilogy. In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, timed to coincide with the opening last spring of her son George W. Bush’s presidential library, she said: “We’ve had enough of Bushes.” (Her comments at the time were a bit more qualified than her more recent remarks: “I don’t think he’ll run,” she said in April of Jeb’s plans.)
Jeb Bush responded to his mom’s latest musings with a cheeky tweet: “What day is Mother’s Day this year? Asking for a friend.”
The former Florida governor has several months to decide whether to pursue the GOP nomination in two years, which could pit him against a political protégé, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, if both were to run.