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Tags: jeb | presidential race | 2016 | family | Columba

For Jeb Bush, 'Ugly' Choice Is Presidency Versus Privacy

For Jeb Bush, 'Ugly' Choice Is Presidency Versus Privacy
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:55 AM EST

As former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush weighs whether to seek the White House in 2016, he is clear about his position on key issues such as the Common Core educational standards, immigration reform and energy security. But the most compelling issue – whether his family supports a run — hangs in the balance and will override anything else, according to Politico.

"It’s a pretty ugly business right now," Bush said Monday evening at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council dinner. "So I’m not saying, 'Oh, woe is me.' Don’t get me wrong.

"There’s a level under which I would never subjugate my family because that’s my organizing principle, that’s my life. I think people kind of appreciate that. So, I’m sorting that out."

By many accounts, even his family hasn’t reached a consensus.

His father and brother, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush, have both voiced their support of a Jeb candidacy, while his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush has said publicly that she hopes Jeb will not run, CNN reported earlier this year.

Perhaps carrying even more weight on the decision are the feelings of Jeb’s wife, Columba, and the couple's three children, George P., Noelle and John Ellis Bush Jr.

Columba Bush’s intense dislike for the public eye is well-known. A Bush confidante told The Washington Post in May that "the family issues are Columba, 1, 2 and 3. It’s whether she’s up for it."

She supported her husband during his two terms as governor of Florida, albeit reluctantly.

A native of Mexico, Columba speaks Spanish with her husband at home and Columba Bush appears uncomfortable speaking English publicly. She has largely remained out of the public eye since Jeb Bush left office.

According to the California-based Spanish language newspaper La Opinion, another Bush confidante who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity said Bush will not enter the race if his wife objects.

Also likely to be weighing heavily on Bush is the scrutiny a presidential bid would bring to his daughter, who was arrested in 2002 for trying to buy Xanax with a fake prescription.

The former governor has spoken publicly about Noelle Bush’s struggles with substance abuse. She has lived a quiet life since her 2002 arrest.

"He has a family that’s very private, even as he lives in a very public world," according to The Post. "He doesn’t take that lightly."

Bush’s decision, CNN reported, will be based on whether he can do it "joyfully … and is it right for my family?"

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is clear about his position on key issues like Common Core, immigration and energy, but the most compelling issue in whether he seeks the White House in 2016 - his family's support — still hangs in the balance, Politico says.
jeb, presidential race, 2016, family, Columba
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:55 AM
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