Lessons, and Parallels, in Jeb Bush's Failed Run for Governor

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tags: election 2016, Jeb Bush



A month after President George Bush lost his 1992 re-election bid, Jeb Bush summoned two Republican pollsters here to lunch. He told them that he intended to run for governor of Florida in two years and wanted their help.

Then a 39-year-old real estate developer, Mr. Bush was hardly new to politics. He was a president’s son, a onetime Dade County Republican chairman and a former state secretary of commerce. He had just overseen his father’s victorious campaign effort in Florida. But he had never run for office. And he was talking about challenging one of the most popular Democrats in the state’s history, Lawton Chiles.

Bill McInturff, one of his lunch companions, suggested that Mr. Bush lower his sights to lieutenant governor, a powerless office. But Mr. Bush, who had been waiting for his father’s political career to end to begin his own, flatly refused.




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