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Politics

Frank Brogan: 2016 Could Be Jeb Bush's Time

December 5, 2012 - 6:00pm

Jeb Bushs intentions about re-entering the political arena remain private, even to his two-time gubernatorial running mate.

But if the former Florida governor were to ramp up a run for the White House in 2016, State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan says, as expected, It would be OK with me.Ive said that forever.

I think elected public service needs the guy back, said Floridas 15th lieutenant governor this past week.

Speculation has grown since President Obama secured a second term, with Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, often listed prominently alongside the likes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Capitol insiders with long ties to the governor say they've heard rumblings, some even hopeful and eager to help rev up his campaign machine. But they admit theyve been unable to get Bush to open up about his future.

While many have speculated that Bush would have been a stronger U.S. Senate candidate than Rep. Connie Mack, R-Naples, or many in the GOPs presidential field, Brogan said the timing may not have been right.

There is the specter of how his brother left office that will soften in another four years and some of the focus will shift to his son, George Prescott Bush, who has filed papers to run for Texas land commissioner, while his parents, President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, move further into their twilight years.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is reportedly set to become chairman of the Constitution Center, a Philadelphia museum focused on exploring constitutional ideals. The post was previously held by his father and President Bill Clinton.

Politics has a timing, Brogan said. Ive seen people say, Now is my time, and the people say Wrong.

Brogan was the elected commissioner of education when the statewide position was part of the Florida Cabinet and he was the running mate for Bushs successful runs for the governors mansion in 1998 and 2002.

Sometimes those who are less patient get run over by the bus faster than anybody. You dont decide.There are forces that are so much bigger than you that ultimately decide if it is your time and place," said Brogan, "and I think this could be the governors time.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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