Even though the next presidential election is in 2016, American media outlets have been speculating on which politicians and public figures would attempt a presidential run. Now a family member from an American political dynasty has thrown in his name for serious consideration.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday that he will "actively explore" a run for president, a major step for anyone who wants to run a 2016 campaign. According to a statement he posted on Facebook, Bush decided to run after talking about the future of the nation with his family.
"As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States," Bush said in the statement.
Bush added that he will also establish a political action committee, or PAC, "to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans."
According to the Associated Press, Bush, the son and brother of presidents, is the early favorite of the Republican establishment wing. His action could pressure other GOP contenders to start competing with him for donors, campaign staff and national attention in a saturated field of potential contenders.
"I didn't expect to see this happen this quickly," Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said.
The Associated Press reported that until now, Bush has largely avoided prominent political gatherings, opting instead to pitch his education ideas and show "a little self-restraint" about his ambitions.
Bush may face an uncertain contest within the GOP after two Republicans considered floating their names for the nomination. Although the Associated Press considers both of them longshots, they are conservative Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and moderate former Gov. George Pataki of New York.
However, not everyone is warming up to the idea of Bush being the Republican nominee. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., thought that the unpopularity of his brother, former President George W. Bush, could pass on to Jeb.
"I just don't see it," Coburn said. "There's still hard feelings about George W. So you start out with a negative, because you've got the wrong last name. If he didn't have that last name, he'd be a pretty good candidate."
Although he has an overwhelmingly conservative record when he governed Florida, Bush's moderate stances have drawn fire from other Republicans. This is because he is an outspoken advocate from the GOP in regards to overhauling immigration that includes a pathway to citizenship for those living in the country illegally, according to Associated Press.
"Together, we can stop a Jeb Bush run and give America a real chance to elect a true conservative president," wrote Shaun McCutcheon, head of the Conservative Action Fund. "Jeb Bush isn't it."
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul also had his doubts on Bush's viability as a presidential candidate. That's because if Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton declares her candidacy, the 2016 presidential race could be a dynastic one in the United States.
"The question is whether people will tire of having one family in charge of things," Paul said.