Why Jeb Bush is Running For President? Is it really for George P.?

February 8, 2015

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. You don’t really believe that the American people are going to elect three out of the last five presidents from the same immediate family do you?  Ain’t gonna happen.  The American people are in a somnolent trance right now.  It hasn’t registered..

Yes, it’s true that there might have been three presidents from the Adams family. (See how Charles Francis Adams might have been elected president.)  But that stretched out over 100 years.

So if it is an impossible task why is Jeb Bush running?  Ahhh.  I’m glad you asked..
Here are six reasons why Jeb Bush is entering the fray..
1.) He just might win. Maybe he only has a 1-500 chance but would you throw away a lottery ticket with such odds?  He has name recognition, money out the kazoo and the American people are a fickle, unpredictable lot. He could win the GOP nomination and Hillary could slip on a banana peel..
2.) The polls say he is a factor.  Some polls even have him leading among Republican voters. It is irresponsible for him to ignore those numbers.  He probably entertains that Platonic idea, “If you refuse to lead you are destined to be led by someone worse than yourself.”.
3.) The Republican field is crowded with candidates which means he can consolidate his considerable experience, name recognition, money and contacts to win against a divided field.  And if Bush isn’t the favorite, those factors alone might be enough to beat anybody else..
4.) Ironically, Hillary Clinton is his best opponent in a general election.  She may be his only chance to win and that may be why he jumped in.  Why wait and have as your opponent some new, sexy face in 2020 and be labelled the old establishment guy with Washington connections?  If he faces Hillary Clinton now, it will be a choice between two old, establishment “guys” with Washington connections and Hillary won’t be able to play the dynasty card against him..
5.) He can do anything else he was going to do better by running for president anyway..
Does he want to raise money for an NGO?  Promote a cause?  Change the Republican Party? Champion an issue? Promote an agenda? Be on a slew of board of directors and get paid for it? Get a job as president of a university? Be the next NFL Commissioner? Start a company with billionaire investors? Be a television commentator or have his own show?  Write a book people will read? He can do any and all of those things better if he runs for president than if he doesn’t..
Maybe, like Charles Francis Adams or Robert Todd Lincoln, he wants to be a cabinet member in the next administration?  Every debate will be a chance to audition for the next president.  Hey, even Hillary Clinton may want him in her cabinet to unite the country.  Like JFK and Barack Obama, who appointed Republicans in their administrations..
And finally there is this, the big reason…..
6.) By running now he can clean up the Bush image to prepare the way for his son..
In case you haven’t noticed, George P. Bush, Jeb’s son, is on his way to the position of Texas Land Commissioner.  It’s a stepping stone to the governor’s mansion..
George P. has been groomed for a long time.  In 1987 I co-authored a book with George H.W. Bush and while it was dedicated to wife, Barbara, then Vice President Bush insisted that it open with one of his famous letters to his grandson George P.
.
Imagine? A governor from Texas, who just happens to be Hispanic, with name recognition and the most powerful fundraising machine in modern politics?  Look out..
But there is one big problem and that is the Bush brand has been severely damaged.  America’s last impression of a Bush president was one who led us into a questionable war with Iraq, under what many argue was false pretenses, with borrowed money, which led to the second worst financial depression in American history.  Not to mention, the ongoing residual effects of that war which has led to mayhem across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with the wholesale slaughter of Christians..
If Jeb Bush runs for president he will come off as a reasonable, kind, bright man with strong principles.  He will have plenty of Souljah moments, such as immigration, where he resists the Republican brand.  One would think that this will almost certainly lose him the nomination but if he does all of this with grace and humility he resets the brand and George P. can start fresh.  Besides it might actually work.  Americans like a leader, even if they disagree with him.  He has nothing to lose.  And he just might win.  Though probably not.  And therein lies another plus.  The national media always fawns over a Republican that they know can’t actually win.  It makes them look bi-partisan.  All the better for George P. Bush and the future..
If this is what is going on – and it is surely a factor – then Jeb Bush may be one of the most selfless men in the famous Bush family.  He stood aside for his father.  He stood aside for his brother.  And now, by running for president, he may just be doing the same thing for his son..
See this CNN interview: Bush Family Dynasty: The long range plan that is now years in the making.


George H.W. Bush: The Nicest President in American History

January 2, 2015

Having worked for the man I can tell you that George H.W. Bush is no pushover.  When Manuel Noriega rattled his swords and waged his drug war against the USA, Bush descended on Panama like a thunderstorm, without warning, bringing the villain back in chains.  When Saddam Hussein invaded his neighbor, Bush organized the entire world against him.  It was an unprecedented moment. “This shall not stand,” Bush said.  And it didn’t.  Bush, not Reagan, was the man who stood watch over the collapse of the Soviet Union.  And many forget that the Berlin Wall came down when he was in the White House. Even so, what endures from those who know him personally and from those who have studied the presidency, is that George H.W. Bush may be the nicest man to ever sit in the Oval Office.

Presidents, like all leaders, are often known for their ruthlessness.  “A great Prime Minister,” Gladstone once mused, “must be a good butcher.” Bush, not Theodore Roosevelt, was the president who walked softly and carried a big stick.

Presidential power within a family sometimes reaches tragic proportions. Accustomed to fawning subordinates at work, the presidents often expect the family to likewise cater to their egos at home.  John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, told his namesake and son, John Adams II, that he would not attend his Harvard graduation unless the boy worked his way into the top five graduating students.  When the son prevailed the father moved the goal posts.  If the boy was not number one, he said, he still wouldn’t come.  The son, John Adams II, got drunk and was expelled from Harvard.

Abraham Lincoln had a mean, stubborn streak that left him estranged from both his father and his first born son.  He refused to attend his father’s funeral.  Lincoln oversaw the massive slaughter of a generation of young men.  More Americans died in the Civil War than in all other modern wars combined.

Theodore Roosevelt invaded Columbia and invented Panama.  It was an illegal, arguably immoral war, but it got us the Panama Canal.  Roosevelt once said, “Every generation of young manhood should experience a war.”  It Hitler were to say such a thing we would rightly rebuke it.  Theodore Roosevelt only makes us chuckle.

Franklin D. Roosevelt interned thousands of Japanese families living in the USA during World War Two.  And he too could be quite tough on his own family.  When son, Jimmy Roosevelt, complained to his mother that he could never talk to his father she suggested he get an appointment. “That’s what I do,” she said.

Lyndon Johnson could be cruel to staffers and rivals alike, even physically intimidating them. Richard Nixon had his blacklist.  New audiotapes show John Kennedy viciously excoriating subordinates.

Sexual abuse seems to be a rite of passage for men of power.  Again, FDR comes to mind. Missy LeHand faithfully served him for years, living with him alone when he was forgotten, even crawling in the mud on the beaches of Florida with him as he tried to affect a quack homeopathic cure for his polio. Some of the president’s sons remember her, wearing a nightgown, sitting on his lap, in the private quarters of the White House.  But when she, herself, had a stroke and developed a paralysis, he threw her out and took a new “friend.”  John Kennedy’s sexual abuse of staff and friends has become legendary.

Sadly, there is no better understanding of the leadership skill of George H.W. Bush than a comparison of the two Gulf Wars.  George H.W. Bush defeated Saddam Hussein but left him in place.  His son, Bush the younger, conquered Iraq and stayed until both Saddam Hussein and his two sons were killed.

In the first Gulf War many people often asked, “Why didn’t the president finish it off?  Why didn’t he take Baghdad?”  It is not very often that we can see what would have happened if things had been done differently.  But now we can.  If Bush, Sr. had taken complete control of Iraq and deposed or killed Saddam Hussein, the whole Sunni-Shia balance of power in the Middle East would have collapsed.  The region would have erupted into bloodshed. Terrorism would have proliferated.  Radical Islam would have toppled established governments.  Christian communities, who trace their lineage back to the time of the Apostles would have been butchered, their centuries old churches burnt to the ground.   We know it would have happened because it is exactly what happened when his son, President George W. Bush, decided to give it a try.

Now, we know the genius and the patient calculation of George H. W. Bush and the gifts he brought to the presidency.  He is nice.  But it has a purpose.


Malia and Sasha Obama have it right, let’s ax the turkey event.

November 30, 2014

Watch Doug Wead talk about this tomorrow on CBS Morning News at 7:30 AM.

Here he responds to the recent criticism of Malia and Sasha at the White House Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony.

 

Whatever criticism one might have for the President and First Lady no one can really lay a finger on them as parents.  They have been the best we have seen in modern times, balancing love and discipline better than any of the more recent dysfunctional presidential families.  Many presidents and first ladies neglect their children for years and notoriously indulge them during their time in the White House.  This First Couple, the Obama’s, offer their children structure, limit their time online, for example, and keep their heads in their school books.  They don’t ignore the special opportunities for them to learn, including them on some foreign trips when they can but they don’t over do it.  I also like the way the President keeps his promises to his children.

Saying that the Obama girls are being disrespectful for rolling their eyes at a corny, Turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House is rather petty.  We forgave the Bush twins for underage drinking and sticking their tongue out at the media.  We forgave the Reagan daughter for posing for Playboy.  I think we can all give the Obama girls a pass for their honest reaction to an anachronistic White House ceremony that deserved the ax long ago.


A Third Bush president?  What history says?

November 30, 2014

“History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page.” – Byron

Can Jeb Bush win the White House? What would be the historical ramifications of a third president from the same family?  Have we ever come close to such a moment before?

In fact, we very well might have had three presidents from the family of John Adams, our second president.  His son, John Quincy Adams was the first son born to an American president and he, himself, became the sixth American president.  His father was 89 years old and too feeble to make the trip to Washington, D.C. to see his son’s inauguration.

President John Quincy’s third son, Charles Francis Adams, was born on August 18, 1807 and was both the son and grandson of presidents.  As in the case of Jeb Bush, many contemporaries of the younger Adams suggested that he was the best presidential material in the family.

Charles Francis Adams graduated from Harvard at age 17, apprenticed in law under Daniel Webster and became fluent in several languages.  In 1858 he was elected to the House of Representatives.  But his greatest service to the country came as Ambassador to the Court of St. James in London.  Young Adams would be the third member of the Adam’s family to hold this position and he would hold it at a critical time.  The Civil War raged in America and the Confederate government was close to receiving official recognition from the United Kingdom, the super power of its day.  British clothing manufacturers were pressuring the government to make a deal and thus assure the steady supply of Southern cotton for their factories.  Such a decision might have guaranteed independence for the South.  Historian John S. Cooper states that Charles Francis Adam’s work was “arguable the greatest contribution to the Union victory made by any individual in the war.”  It was a boast that included both Abraham Lincoln and Union commander, Ulysses S. Grant.

At a time when presidential candidates had to act coy and feign disinterest, Charles Adams was nominated for president in 1872 and again in 1876.

There are some uncanny historical similarities between the third Adams and the third Bush.

#1.) Both men are often referred to as better presidential material than the two presidents in the family who preceded them.

#2.) Both men are considered establishment figures with money and power behind their candidacy.

#3.) Both men are seen as ahead of their political parties in crafting new positions on the issues.  Adams was anti-slavery early in his career, when it was a controversial position to take.  And after the great Civil War finally put that issue to rest, he was an early advocate of civil service reform, the new controversy.  Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is seen as taking positions on immigration that are too much, too soon, to allow him to win the GOP nomination.

But there are some big differences between the third would be Adams president and the third would be Bush president.  Adams was more mercurial and politically risky than Bush, whose temperament is more cautious and circumspect.

Bush is eyeing the White House at a time when the national media and rival political parties have accepted family dynasties without criticism.  The Clinton’s, the Cuomo’s, the Kennedy’s, the Paul’s and the Carter’s are just some of the political families who have fielded multiple candidates.

Adams opponents railed against the dynastic power of one family rule.  And the national media was vigorously opposed.  When Robert Todd Lincoln, a contemporary of Charles Adams, was promoted for president the national media publicly attacked the idea.  Lincoln was the son of the beloved, slain President Abraham Lincoln, and like Charles had served as Ambassador to Great Britain.

The New York World warned that “rotten Republicanism has learned to revere things that savor of monarchy and aristocracy.  It would transmit the Presidency as their fathers’ successors to crowns.”  (All the Presidents Children, Simon and Schuster.) Joseph Pulitzer was aghast at the possibility declaring that no one should be elected president because of their father.

Jeb Bush represents one distinct difference from Charles Adams.  He would be running for president within 30 years of his father and brother.  The three Adams presidential candidates spread their political careers across 80 years and three generations.  Some argue that it is too much, too soon for Jeb Bush.  But then, his likely Democrat opponent in 2016 would be Hillary Clinton, whose president husband was impeached only sixteen years ago.

Knowing the Bush family, they will be prepared and then sit back and watch the polls.  The tide comes in and the tide goes out.  If they see an opportunity, they will take it.  But the Bushes, like the Adams, will feel no need to hurry.  Jeb Bush has a son, George P. Bush, who was just elected Texas Land Commissioner.  He will be ready soon and might be the family’s “next man in.”

For more on political family dynasties read The Raising of a President.


Bombshell: Charlie Marsh’s forgotten daughter

November 10, 2014

Today I received a bombshell.  Charlie Marsh, the networking – MLM  legend who is credited by some as the grandfather of system building, the upline to Dexter Yager, may have had a daughter out of wedlock.  And she is seeking reconciliation with the family she never knew.

Here is the post:  How the Amway Tool Business Began.

And here below is the comment she made on this blog post.

“Charlie Marsh had a daughter prior to his marriage with Elsie I am that daughter and was kept a secret due to he never married my Mother but he did acknowledge me as his daughter. My maiden name is Marsh Sad story but true. Also sad that I tried to contact him through Amway many times with no return calls or contact. Amyway strives to be a Christian based company but yet I was never provided for growing up by my Father Charlie Marsh. I have tried to get into contact with him Elsie refused that and now I have not been able to reach any of the children they had together which would be my half siblings. I apologize for using this blog for this purpose but I have had no success in reaching any Marsh Family. I would love for someone to contact me that knew Charlie Marsh I would love to obtain pictures and information. Thanks Dena Marsh”   dlcochran53@aol.com

If true, it is a story that has been told many times about titans of business, entertainment and power. When I began researching the family history of President Warren G. Harding I was soon contacted by members of the family who were lobbying my work.  They were especially concerned about what I might write concerning the story of Nan Britton who had an ongoing affair with the president and gave birth to Elizabeth Ann Blaesing.  I chose to write about the story and actually spoke with the daughter, Elizabeth Ann before she died.  I tried to get her to come forward and tell her story again but she had suffered too deeply at the hands of the presidents’ agents and defenders.

When word got out that I was writing a book for Simon and Schuster on children of presidents I was soon lobbied by the family of President Warren G. Harding.   They wanted to make sure I did not include the story of Nan Briton and her daughter, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, the alleged illegitimate daughter of the president.  I promised to be careful and accurate but the story was too compelling to deny.

There is a moment in my book, All the Presidents’ Children, when Nan is visiting with the president in the private, upstairs quarters of the White House.  She calls him over to the window to look out on Lafayette Park.  There he would see their daughter, sitting quietly on a park bench where her mother, Nan Britton, had told her to wait.  The president refused.  “You don’t even want to see your own daughter?” she asked.

While Harding paid money for the child’s upbringing while he was a alive he made no provision afterward and the Harding family reacted viciously toward the former lover and unwed mother of the president.

Let us hope that this child of networking legend, Charlie Marsh, has a better reception.

Read also: “Jim Dornan, Amway legend passes.”

Doug Wead on Fox News last week.  Talks about “Angry Presidents.”

 

 


Not another Clinton – Bush election? Please!

April 10, 2014

Get ready, we may indeed see another Clinton – Bush election.  This time, Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and former Secretary of State pitted against Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.  It’s like being Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day.  Ever get the feeling you’ve been here before?

Both candidates have something to prove.  Clinton wants to scrub her husband’s impeachment off the books and this would do it.  In a hundred years when some ten year old boy scans through the list and sees that Bill Clinton was impeached but his wife was elected president shortly thereafter he will make the ready conclusion, “The impeachment must have been political or else the country would never have turned so quickly to his wife.”  And Jeb Bush is running to prove, well, that not all Bushes should be judged by the last one.

How did it come to this?  There are three dynamics at work.

1.) Political dynasties are active in both parties simultaneously.

Normally, one can count on the opposition to raise a fuss.  If there was a Democrat dynasty the Republicans would howl.  If there was a Republican dynasty the Democrats would be outraged.  But now two have appeared at the same time.  No Democrat will raise the issue of corruption and attack the idea of the Bush family dynasty and risk alienating the powerful Clinton’s.  And no Republican will attack the Clinton’s and risk alienating the Bushes?  Even if the latter prove weak and Jeb Bush fails to show well in the primaries, the GOP nominee will have to have that powerful, fundraising machine supportive in the general election.

Now, in a very rare moment of history, the two dynasties have cancelled each other out.  As a result? There are dynasties gone wild. The electric fence is down and the cows are roaming all over.  The Cuomo’s, the Paul’s, the Kennedy’s, the Carter’s don’t get me started.

2.) Journalism is dead.

Normally, one can count on a vigorous Fourth Estate.  No less than Joseph Pulitzer railed against the idea of Robert Todd Lincoln running for president.  Throughout American history the media has been vigilant.  Attempts at family dynasties were always shot down.  This was America, not a monarchy.  After the Revolutionary War, when George Washington was presented a massive family genealogy by the English government he rejected it, pointing out that in these United States success or failure was determined by the choices of the individual not the bloodline.

This is not the Philippines.  This is not Indonesia.  This is not Panama, where fifteen families rule the country.

But in case you haven’t noticed, journalism is dead.  If a reporter can’t even pronounce Sevastopol what hope do we have that they are telling us anything accurate about Russia and the Ukraine?  We now live behind our own iron curtain.  News has become entertainment and the Clinton’s, Bushes, Kennedy’s all sell well.  Don’t expect any help from the media.

3.) Obama has failed.

Finally there is Barack Obama.  His election has been a great historic milestone but by just about any measure, including his own, his presidency is ending in disaster.  For example, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer at a rate that would make an Eastern establishment Republican blush.  The Nixon administration spied on its enemies but the Obama administration spies on its friends too and on its own political allies in the U.S. Senate.  Having tried an “outsider” like Obama, the American electorate is now more likely to turn to an “insider,” a Bush or a Clinton.  Better to have someone who doesn’t have to learn on the job.

While a Clinton – Bush rematch might just happen, almost any historian will warn that the idea of multiple presidencies in the same family is a recipe for abuse and disaster.  Having been in power and then spending time out of power, a family can muse about what might have been.  Who was loyal and who was not?  What should be done if given another chance?  How could the office have been better monetized?  Who should have been an Ambassador?  Whose corporate jet would be better appreciated and useful, added to the fleet of corporate jets loaned out to a former president?  What government contracts could legitimately go to whom and why?  How can the next family power contender be groomed?

America, already beginning to experience the corruption of a Third World nation, doesn’t need to grease the skids to fall any deeper into the abyss.  Clinton – Bush?  It may happen.  But if it does, expect America’s post constitutional drift to gain full sail.  The abuses won’t be pretty.


Barbara Bush wants Hillary Clinton to run for president.

August 27, 2013

Barbara Bush, not the former First Lady, but the daughter of former president, George W. Bush, has said that Hillary Clinton is “unbelievably accomplished” and hopes she will run for president in 2016.  It’s about as close to an endorsement as a Bush could give a Clinton and surely qualifies as news.  Former First Lady and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is a member of the Democrat Party.  Barbara’s father and grandfather were former presidents and both are Republican.  Her uncle, former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, is also a Republican and a possible candidate for president in 2016.

If Ms. Bush eventually endorses Secretary Clinton, it would not be the first time that a son or daughter of a president supported a candidate of the opposing political party.  Ron Reagan, Jr. and his sister Patti Davis, both offspring of Republican president Ronald Reagan, are openly Democrats.  Mr. Reagan addressed the Democrat National Convention in 2004

Democrat president, Franklin Roosevelt, had sons, who supported candidates and causes other than his own.   John Aspinwall Roosevelt, the youngest in the family, complained openly about the New Deal and became a high profile Republican.  He endorsed Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan for president.  In 1954, when FDR, Jr. ran for governor of New York, his brother, John endorsed his Republican opponent.  Meanwhile,  Jimmy Roosevelt, the eldest of FDR’s sons, led “Democrats for Nixon in 1972.”  FDR’s son, Elliott,  worked for FDR’s lifelong enemy, William Randolph Hearst.  When his father announced he would run for an unprecedented third term as president, Elliott told friends it should be unconstitutional.

Political and cultural differences between the generations is nothing new in political dynasties nor should it be surprising to the rest of us.  Each member of a family seeks a separate identity and that is often found in differing political views.  Helen Taft Manning, daughter of conservative, Republican president, William Howard Taft, was one of the most effective leaders of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and openly Democrat on many issues.   Barbara Bush is an advocate of Marriage Equality and other gay issues and has “partnered” with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Michelle Obama’s “let’s Move” campaign.

Children of presidents have often played a role in helping a candidate get elected and govern.  Robert Tyler, son of the tenth president, John Tyler, helped promote the career of Pennsylvania congressman, James Buchanan, who became the fifteenth president.  James Garfield, son and namesake of the twentieth president helped Theodore Roosevelt win the presidency.  His younger brother, Harry Garfield, helped elect Woodrow Wilson.  Both of the Garfield sons became cabinet officers with distinguished careers.  In all three cases the Presidents’ children not only offered a powerful endorsement, they had inside knowledge and experience that was crucial to the success of the candidates.

Help from  a presidents’ son or daughter is not always rewarded.  After he won the White House, James Buchanan shunted aside Robert Tyler whose presence was a reminder of his early political struggles in Pennsylvania.  Tyler moved to Alabama, became a newspaper publisher and passed from the public eye with dignity never complaining about the thankless role he had played and the president’s shabby treatment.

Caroline Kennedy nearly suffered the same fate.  Her endorsement of Illinois Senator Barack Obama came at a crucial time in his race with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Kennedy, a political and social icon, gave Obama cache when he needed it most.  But the Obama White House staff chaffed at the idea they owed their election to Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the slain president, and derailed attempts to reward her.  If Barack Obama had not been re-elected in 2012, the Kennedy endorsement would have gone down in history as one of the greatest unpaid political debts in modern campaign history.  But Obama won re-election, some measure of sanity returned to the Obama White House and Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the 35th president was nominated Ambassador to Japan.

It remains to be seen if Barbara Bush will formally endorse Hillary Clinton for president.  Most Bush watchers doubt it will happen until her uncle Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, officially declares his non candidacy.  If not, this statement is probably even better for Clinton, at least from a political standpoint.  It adds to the idea of Clinton’s broadening support without tying her to a president who is unpopular with her base.  It is the ultimate irony.  Having been sunk by one presidential daughter, a Kennedy, she now finds herself buoyed  by another, a Bush.


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