The Republican grousing began right away on Election Night once Florida began tilting towards Obama, with some on the right predictably blaming Romney as too middle-of-the-road, while the vast majority of GOP pundits zeroed in on what really lost them the White House: the party’s horrendous performance among Hispanics, the fastest growing slice of the electorate. All of a sudden Fox News’s Sean Hannity was in favor of “a pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, and his peers were all gaga for rising Hispanic GOP stars like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and Texas Senator Elect Ted Cruz. To add to this list: George P. Bush, nephew of Bush 43 and grandson of Bush 41.
The eldest son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who already leads the 2016 GOP presidential field and is married to Mexican-born Columba “Colu” Bush, George P. Bush is not exactly new to politics. Back in 1988, when he was just 12, he spoke at the Republican National Convention where his grandfather was first nominated, returning to address the gathering four years later. In 2000 he campaigned for his uncle, then-Texas Governor George W. Bush, and was back again in 2004 to tout the president’s comprehensive immigration reform proposals, ultimately scuppered by the Democrat-controlled Senate. And there he was at this year’s storm-battered GOP convention in Tampa to represent the Bush dynasty yet again.
Coming from a political clan rooted in both Florida and Texas (not to mention Connecticut back in the day), the question has never been if George Prescott Garnica Bush would run for elected office but when and where. The when is still fuzzy — as is the specific office he’ll seek — but at least we now know where he’ll launch his political career: Texas. (The AP reports that Bush submitted a candidate reporting declaration with the Texas Ethics Commission this week.)
Already, George P. Bush’s prospects look bright. He’s the co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas and, as Joe Hagan learned while reporting on Jeb Bush for New York Magazine’s Election Issue, also deputy finance chair of the state’s GOP machine and an early backer of Texas Senator Elect Ted Cruz. “George P.’s future in Texas is unlimited,” Republican Texas mega-donor James Huffines told Hagan. “He’s the right age, he connects well with people, he has good political instincts, and he bucked the Establishment and got onboard with Ted Cruz.”
Then there’s his last name — the most recognizable brand in Texas politics — not to mention his father’s full-throated endorsement (“If George P. decides to run for office someday, I will be the first to support him”) and access to his grandmother Barbara Bush’s legendary donor card list. So, it looks like Marco Rubio might just get a break sometime soon.