Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush recently made news by revealing that he’s personally lobbied the Romney campaign to give Florida Senator Marco Rubio the VP nod, surprising some who considered Bush a top-tier contender himself. So how has the rest of the Bush family influenced the campaign? And for good measure, what have the Cheney’s been up to? Here’s a look:
Given his still toxic legacy (most Americans still fault him for the state of the economy over Obama) George W. wisely made an effort to steer as clear from Romney as possible. How’s he done so far? In May, he made his first endorsement on ABC News while boarding an elevator. Then, word came that he wouldn’t be attending August’s GOP Convention. Since then, his only public contact with Romney was a brief stop at his campaign’s headquarters in Boston -- late this month (he just wanted to "drop by while he happened to be in town," according to one rather defensive sounding source). His latest statement on the campaign, made in mid-July to The Hill reads a lot like a promise not to make any more statements: "I'm interested in politics. I'm a supporter of Mitt Romney. I hope he does well. But you know, he can do well without me," Meanwhile, Laura Bush, the former first lady, has also kept mostly mum on the race thus far, breaking her silence only to deliver some friendly advice to Ann Romney. She will also be skipping the GOP convention.
Also skipping the convention: Bush 41, who was diagnosed recently with vascular Parkinsonism and has been confined to a wheelchair for some time. This will be the first convention the former President will have missed in 35 years. Unlike his son, however, he’s managed to find ways to make himself useful to the Republican effort: in early July, H.W. was appointed co-chairman of a pro-Romney veterans group.
As for Jeb Bush, beyond his Rubio endorsement, the former Florida governor has also become a dedicated surrogate for the Romney campaign. His most recent appearance was in Ohio, where he’d wrapped up a month-long bus tour for the campaign. He’ll be headed to Iowa in October on what is ostensibly a campaign stop; speculators posit that he’s laying the groundwork for a 2016 run. Fittingly, he’ll be attending the GOP convention along with his 36-year-old son George P. Bush, part Hispanic and a veteran who -- according to a recent piece in The Atlantic “has been touted as a political prospect practically since he was old enough to walk.” Most of the press he’s gotten is focused on his new political action committee MavPAC, which donated$5,000 to the Romney campaign. That could soon change if those close to the Bush family are right in predicting that a run for Congress or state office is imminent for the young Bush.
Dick Cheney, the former vice president has been less shy about making waves on the campaign trail than his former boss. He gave a formal and full-throated endorsement of Romney before a $4 million dollar fundraiser for the candidate at his Wyoming ranch in mid-July. During a speech that night, Cheney also tried to boost Romney’s national security cred by saying that the candidate would be better able to handle 9/11-scale moments of national crisis. Despite the glowing praise however, the Romney camp unsurprisingly took pains to prevent the two from being photographed together.
In addition, Liz Cheney, the former vice president's daughter, has been a political commentator for years and has never been one to shy a way from speaking her mind. She’s spent much of her time in public criticizing President Obama (as in a recent Fox News appearance during which she criticized President Obama’s handling of Syria) and boosting Mitt Romney (as she also did on Fox, defending Mitt Romney's reluctance to release many of his tax returns) and it’s expected that she’ll continue to do more of the same.
Lastly, Mary Cheney, Liz's sister who married her partner Heather Poe in June, has only been involved in 2012 race as a donor. Her donation of $2,500 dollars went to the Romney campaign. Notably, Romney currently supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.