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Must-read from the NY Times: For Jeb Bush, life defending the family name

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For months now, Jeb Bush has been listening as President Obama blasts his older brother’s administration for the battered economy, budget deficits and even the lax oversight of oil wells.

“It’s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, ‘The dog ate my homework,’ ” Mr. Bush, this state’s former governor, said over lunch last week at the Biltmore Hotel. “It’s childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don’t accept responsibility.”

In fact, instead of constantly bashing the 43rd president, Mr. Bush offered, perhaps Mr. Obama could learn something from him, especially when it comes to ignoring the Washington chatter. “This would break his heart, to get advice that applies some of the lessons of leadership my brother learned, because he apparently likes to act like he’s still campaigning, and he likes to blame George’s administration for everything,” Mr. Bush said, dangling a ketchup-soaked French fry. “But he really seems like he’s getting caught up in what people are writing about him.”

“I mean, good God, man, read a book!” Mr. Bush said with a laugh. “Go watch ESPN!”

At 57, Jeb Bush remains an intriguing figure inside his fractious party. At a moment when Republicans are groping for an agenda beyond opposition, Mr. Bush has long been considered one of the party’s true idea guys, someone a lot of party insiders think could still be a serious presidential contender.

But Mr. Bush, the son and brother of presidents, occupies just as intriguing a place within his own family. American presidents have traditionally felt themselves duty-bound not to criticize their successors (no matter what their successors may say about them), which means that Jeb is the only Bush in public life who can defend the family name. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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