Another Bush in the White House? The last President Bush thinks it’s a good idea.
Making a very rare TV appearance, George W. Bush told Jay Leno Tuesday night on “The Tonight Show” that his brother Jeb would make “a great president.”
“Jeb should run for president if he wants to,” said the former president, 67, of his younger brother, who’s 60. “He’d be a great president.”
The subject came up when Leno asked Bush about the dedication ceremony at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas last April — where the former president’s mother, Barbara Bush, was outspoken on the subject of another Bush serving as president.
Commenting on the possibility of Jeb running for president, she said her son is “by far the best qualified man.” But then she said he shouldn’t run because “we’ve had enough Bushes” in the president’s job.
Bush agreed that his mother — now 88 — is not reluctant to speak her mind. This is the woman who when I was getting ready to run against Gov. Ann Richards in Texas, I called her and said ‘Hey, Mom, I’m going to run against Gov. Richards,’ [and] she said, ‘You can’t win!’”
The 43rd president of the United States had special praise for his father, George H.W. Bush, the 41st president who is now 89 and lives in Houston. “Old 41 — he’s an awesome guy,” said George W. “I went to the football game with him last Sunday.
“I love him dearly. And he gave me the greatest gift a father can give a child, which is unconditional love,” Bush said.
Bush’s visit to “The Tonight Show” was not planned as an opportunity for the ex-prez to comment on the current president, Barack Obama, or politics in general. In fact, President No. 43 has purposely stayed out of the political fray.
“Now, I know you’ve avoided talking policy for the last six or seven years,” Leno said. “Explain why.”
“I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor,” Bush said.
“Now, President Obama’s kind of getting all the late-night jokes now,” Leno pointed out.
“Better him than me!” Bush said.
Bush said he has eased into his private life in Dallas, where he has taken up a new hobby, painting. “Are you glad you aren’t president now?” Leno asked him.
“Yes, I am,” Bush answered. “Eight years is plenty. And Laura and I love living in Texas. Dallas is our home. And we’re very comfortable there. We’ve got a lot of friends there. And I really don’t miss the spotlight. It’s hard for some to believe, but I think eight years in the spotlight’s enough.”
“Well, I must say you look much more relaxed!” Leno said.
“No kidding,” Bush replied.
Leno asked Bush why he agreed to appear on “The Tonight Show” (where he was joined later by wife Laura). “I know you’ve tried to stay out of the spotlight for the last few years or so. So I was actually pleasantly surprised you accepted our invitation,” Leno said.
“Only because of you,” said the former president.
“Well, thank you. And that’s very kind. That’s very kind,” Leno said.
“I mean, you’re about to head out to pasture,” Bush said. “I just wanted to see what you look like before you got to the gate!”