Jack Ohman

Editorial cartoonist, writer and Joe King’s alter ego

When it comes to more family presidents, Barbara's bushed...

05/06/2013 3:51 PM

05/06/2013 5:53 PM

Last week, I passed on the opportunity do a cartoon on Barbara Bush saying she thought her son Jeb should pass on running for president in 2016.

Now, we all have mothers. Some wanted us to be president, and others wanted us maybe to quit piling dirty dishes under the bed, for God's sake. It's a rather well-known historical fact that if you want to be president of the United States, you should have a really strong, mildly angry, and faintly passive-aggressive mother. 

Without commenting on that particular aspect of the former First Lady's persona, I am sure that when she married George Herbert Walker Bush back in 1942, she never would have dreamed that she would have her husband become president, and then have one of her sons become president.

The W(rong) one.

It's kind of an open secret in the Bush family that Jeb Bush was the guy who was supposed to go all the way, and, had it not been for his loss in the 1990 Florida gubernatorial race, would have stepped ahead of his brother George in line. 

We all have brothers, too. And most of us do not have brothers that could theoretically be president of the United States, or there would be a lot more fraternal backyard "accidents" growing up involving lawn darts. I think most of us think our brothers can't even cut their grass in a straight line or boil a bratwurst properly let alone be leader of the free world. And, I suspect, Jeb, in his dirty little heart, thinks he and not his brother should have been president. 

So when, finally, Jeb looks like the Next Guy in Line to take over the Bush Family Launch Codes, who steps in but his mother?

"I think there have been enough Bushes," she said.

I saw it. She looked like she was about to say, "And you'd think he could maybe fold a load of laundry once in awhile." But she didn't. But she wanted to. 

Jeb Bush's brother has chimed in on the subject as well, saying he has encouraged Jeb Bush to run, and seemed genuinely enthused. That's because he knows he was a historical accident. He feels guilty about it. "W" was the Texas party guy getting hammered every night, while Jebbie was writing term papers about the role of NATO in nuclear deterrence. 

Which his mother made him do, after the piano lesson.

Having lived under Tough Mother Rule myself, I kind of know what Jeb must be feeling right now. Just because your mother is tired of having a bunch of Bush presidents running around opening libraries, jumping out of airplanes, and wanting sandwiches made doesn't mean Jeb is tired of it. I think the man should run. He's thoughtful, prepared, and has a son, George P. Bush, who's going into politics in Texas and should keep the Bush line in the news until the mid 22nd century.

I'm fine with that.

They're good material. And I have a slogan for the former Florida governor:

Choosy Mothers Choose Jeb.

About This Blog

Jack Ohman joined The Sacramento Bee in 2013. He previously worked at the Oregonian, the Detroit Free Press and the Columbus Dispatch. His work is syndicated to more than 200 newspapers by Tribune Media Services. Jack has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Foundation Award and the national SPJ Award, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and the Herblock Prize in 2013. Contact Jack at johman@sacbee.com. Twitter: @JACKOHMAN.

 

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