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America’s (Potentially) Next Bush is Different, but What Would That Mean?

I remember that for the longest time, my mother had a hard time pronouncing the word “Bush.” I corrected her again and again but her pronunciation of the word was anything but “Bush,” ranging from “Bus” to “Boos” to “Bosh.” That was back in 2006, when Bush was a household name, when that word was both the bane and the very definition of American political culture.

A different Bush – Jeb Bush – is now in the national spotlight. He’s shrewder, larger in stature, and more business-savvy than his older brother. Will he run for the presidency in 2016? If he does, who’ll support him? How likely is he to win?

The answers to such questions are unclear for the time being, but what’s important to consider are what his candidacy implies. Jeb is a brand of Bush that is wholly different than that of his brother and of his father, just as Hilary is a brand of Clinton that is wholly different than that of her husband. My mother though will have a similar struggle just pronouncing the name correctly.

Jeb Bush was the governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. Afterwards, he returned to the world of business, and aggressively so. He invested in real estate, sat on boards of manufacturing companies like Hygiene and InnoVida, served as a director to Tenet Health Care, engaged in corporate speechmaking, and pursued many other such money-making endeavors. (source: NYT: Jeb Bush’s Rush to Make Money May be Hurdle)

Mr. Jeb Bush’s fellow corporate board members speak of him in positive terms, especially the members of Tenet Healthcare. Tenet Healthcare is a company that has been supportive of the Obamacare legislation, primarily because the legislation is profitable for the company. Tenet Healthcare President and CEO Mr. Trevor Fetter told CNBC’s “Halftime Report” that the Affordable Care Act could result in higher earning for the healthcare industry, that “We’re going to pick up volumes that we didn’t have before…. Presumably, more of those patients will have insurance.” (Source:   Tenet CEO on Profiting from Obamacare) Mr. Jeb Bush has consistently been opposed to Affordable Care Act and has called it “flawed to its core” but as a board member of Tenet Healthcare, Mr. Bush’s personal political views are evidently superseded by the financial motives of his companies.

One company that Mr. Bush’s acted as a board member for was InnoVida. Last year, the founder of the company Mr. Claudio Osorio pled guilty to three conspiracies of wire fraud and money laundering, and was required to pay restitution of between $20 million and $50 million to investment victims. (Source: Miami businessman Claudio Osorio gets 12 years in prison for fraud conviction) The lawyer for Mr. Osorio said that board members of the company such as Mr. Jeb Bush had little meaningful oversight of the company. Mr. Bush most likely had no awareness and no involvement in the money laundering conspiracies. The implication though is that in his eagerness to make money, Mr. Bush involved himself with so many companies, spreading himself too thin to actively manage his companies.

Mr. Jeb Bush is a man that could potentially run for the presidency in 2016. That could be exciting news for many, though his profile suggests Mr. Bush is more interested in being a businessman and earning profits, than being a politician and running the country.

About the author

David Kwon is a freelance writer to Issue Hawk. He's currently a graduate student majoring in social work at New York University, mainly being trained to serve the poor and the homeless.