George P. Bush's "Future in Texas is Unlimited." And George W.? He's Taken Up Painting.
The latest New York magazine goes all-in on the Bush family, assessing the political hopes of Jeb before finally deciding that it's actually George P., Jeb's half-Mexican son and a rising star in Texas politics, who has the highest political ceiling.
George P. Bush would make a nice portrait, don't you think?
"George P.'s future in Texas in unlimited," says James Huffines, a Texas financier and GOP fund-raiser. "He's the right age, he connects well with people, he has good political instincts, and he bucked the Establishment and got onboard with Ted Cruz."
And it's not a matter of if P. runs, author Joe Hagen reports. It's a matter of when:
(W)ith his father's guidance, George P., age 36, has been assembling pieces for a political run of his own--in Texas, 2014.
George P. Bush, whose grandfather famously referred to him and his siblings as "the little brown ones" in the eighties, says he cannot escape the family name, even though he tried at first. "It's quintessentially Bush to establish your own identity," he says, "but in the eyes of others it's viewed as something larger than that in terms of having the name. I feel like I can kind of be myself, but embrace who I am as a Bush." As is Bush custom, George P. has been establishing his fortune, first in private equity doing real-estate deals, and now investing in the energy sector--just like Grandpa. Like his grandfather, George H.W. Bush, he served in the Navy, doing a six-month tour in Afghanistan under a pseudonym to protect his security. He is head of pacs trying to draw young people and Hispanics into the party, and this August, he agreed to be the deputy finance chair of the Texas GOP--an echo of how his father entered into politics before running for office. Like his father, he has also thrown his support behind a Hispanic tea partyer--Ted Cruz, who is running for Senate in Texas this fall.
In preparation, P. has apparently been seeking the counsel of his uncle George W., who apparently sees Barack Obama-like potential in his biracial nephew's political future. And while this may conjure images of them plotting P.'s ascent over long afternoons of brush-clearing, the New York piece allows us to consider a much more entertaining vision: that of W. lecturing the family prodigy while filling in the tail of that adorable dachshund from down the street.
"He's become increasingly agoraphobic," this person adds of the former president. "He looked startled by the whole thing. But he doesn't like people, he never did, he doesn't now."
Indeed, George W. Bush, now 66, has spent the past few years living as invisibly as possible, working diligently on his golf game at the Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, showing up at a Rangers baseball game, or being spotted eating a steak in one of his favorite restaurants. While the rest of the world judges his years in office, he's taken up painting, making portraits of dogs and arid Texas landscapes. "I find it stunning that he has the patience to sit and take instruction and paint," says a former aide.
He gets a regular drip feed of political news from Karl Rove and others--he's been critical of Romney's campaign and skeptical of his chances. He meets once a month with the George W. Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University to review the latest policy projects and occasionally escapes to Africa, where this summer he led a delegation bringing attention to the epidemics of cervical cancer. There, he finds the adoration and respect he doesn't often find outside Texas.
Read the full piece at nymag.com.