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Jeb Bush explores 2016 US presidential run

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, DC. (AFP)

Jeb Bush is actively exploring a run for the US presidency in 2016, making the former Florida governor with the famous political last name one of the first major Republicans to formally move toward a possible candidacy.

Bush, 61, said he will establish a political action committee in January, a step that an aide said will allow him to engage politically with supporters and potential donors and determine whether sufficient support exists for a run.

To be successful, Bush will have to overcome opposition from increasingly powerful conservatives in the Republican Party in order to best what is expected to be a crowded Republican field in 2016.

He will also have to gauge whether Americans would support another president named Bush. He is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of former President George W. Bush. He served as Florida's governor between 1999 and 2007.

By jumping in early, Bush puts potential competitors like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on notice that they would have to get past him to win the nomination.

"It's extremely clever because he will be the talk of holiday tables all across the country," said Saul Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. "By coming out early, he establishes the bar for everybody else to meet and immediately ties up a tremendous amount of the financial community."

A Bush candidacy could set up a classic clash of two American political dynasties.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, is the early favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, creating the possibility of a Bush-Clinton rematch of the 1992 election between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, won by Clinton.

A final decision on whether Bush will seek the Republican presidential nomination will come at some point next year after he travels to key states and talks to voters.

"In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America," Bush wrote.

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Tags:  World  US  Elections  GOP  Bush  





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