Barbara Bush, the wife of one President and the mother of another, seemed to diss Sarah Palin when she expressed the hope that former Governor Palin stay in Alaska and presumably not run for president.
According to AFP, “‘I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful. And she’s very happy in Alaska — I hope she’ll stay there,’ said the former first lady, who is known for her quick wit and her tart tongue.”
Of course what Sarah Palin calls the “lame stream media” has gone nuts over this off-handed remark, as it tends to do when one Republican woman disses another. If even Barbara Bush doesn’t think much of Sarah Palin, then what right does she have to even think of being president of the United States?
Of course, Bush’s remark about Palin was very gentle compared to what she once called Geraldine Ferraro, who was also a vice presidential nominee — “rhymes with witch.” This occurred in 1984, when Ferraro and George H. W. Bush clashed in a vice presidential debate. Barbara was later obliged to apologize to Ms. Ferraro.
To understand why Barbara Bush seems to pick on female politicians of both parties, one only has to go as far as family fidelity to look for a motivation.
Ferraro was on a ticket with Walter Mondale running against then-President Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush. Things are said in the heat of the campaign that are often later regretted in later, cooler reflection.
So why does Barbara Bush wish that Sarah Palin would stay in Alaska? Most of the media is implying that Mrs. Bush doesn’t think much of Palin. But closer examination might lead to the opposite conclusion.
One of Barbara’s other children, former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, is often mentioned in the same breath as President of the United States. True, Jeb has said that he is not interested in running for president, but a mother can dream, can she not? To be the wife of a president and the mother of not just one but two presidents would surely secure Barbara Bush’s place in history. And one would be an unnatural mother, which Barbara certainly is not, to not wish the best for one’s children.
In that context, Sarah Palin is a threat to a third Bush presidency. Barbara has been involved in politics for a long time. She must know that Palin would make a formidable candidate and would likely beat Jeb in any primary contest.
So of course Barbara Bush wishes Sarah Palin would stay in Alaska. It’s what would be best for Jeb.
Of course, another possibility would be for Sarah Palin to choose Jeb Bush for her running mate. Some might advise against having yet another member of the Bush family on a national ticket so soon. But Jeb is popular with the Republican base and he pretty much secures Florida, a must-win state of Barack Obama.
And, in 2020, after the Palin second term, Jeb will only be 67, a whole two years younger than Ronald Reagan was when he became president.
Sources: Barbara Bush hopes Sarah Palin will stay in Alaska, AFP, November 22nd, 2010
What is it with Barbara Bush and female V.P. nominees? Steve Kornacki, Salon, November 22nd, 2010