Neil Bush: Embarrassment to Two Presidents

Roundup: Media's Take

Peter Carlson, writing in the Washington Post (Dec. 28, 2003):

Ah, it's nice to be Neil Bush.

When you're Neil Bush, rich people from all over the world are eager to invest money in your businesses, even though your businesses have a history of crashing and burning in spectacular fashion.

When you're Neil Bush, you'll be sitting in a hotel room in Thailand or Hong Kong , minding your own business, when suddenly there's a knock at the door. You answer it and a comely woman strolls in and has sex with you.

Life sure is fun when you're Neil Bush, son of one president, brother of another.

Just how much fun was revealed in a deposition taken last March, during Bush's very nasty divorce battle. Asked by his wife's attorney whether he'd had any extramarital affairs, Bush told the story of his Asian hotel room escapades....

Meanwhile, back home in Texas , Bush serves as co-chairman of a company called Crest Investment. Crest, he revealed in the deposition, pays him $60,000 a year to provide "miscellaneous consulting services."

"Such as?" Brown asked.

"Such as answering phone calls when Jamal Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice," Bush replied....

Neil Bush is the latest manifestation of a long tradition in American life -- the president's embarrassing relative.

There was Sam Houston Johnson, who used to get drunk and start blabbing to the press until his brother, Lyndon, sicced the Secret Service on him.

And Donald Nixon, who dreamed of founding a fast-food chain called Nixonburgers and who accepted, but never repaid, a $200,000 loan from billionaire Howard Hughes. His brother, Dick, had the Secret Service tap his phone.

And Billy Carter, who drank prodigious quantities of beer, authored a book called "Redneck Power" and took $200,000 from the government of Libya .

And Roger Clinton, a party animal who spent a year in prison for cocaine dealing and who later appeared in a movie called "Pumpkinhead II" playing a pol called Mayor Bubba.

But Neil Bush has surpassed them all. Bush has done something that no other American has ever accomplished: He has become the embarrassing relative of not one but two presidents.

In the late '80s and early '90s, Bush embarrassed his father, George H.W. Bush, with his shady dealings as a board member of the infamous Silverado Savings and Loan, whose collapse cost taxpayers $1 billion.

Now Bush has embarrassed his brother George W. Bush with a made-for-the-tabloids divorce that featured paternity rumors, a defamation suit and, believe it or not, allegations of voodoo.

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