George W. Bush Ruins Jeb Bush's Presidential Aspirations By Endorsing Him

Is this the worst endorsement ever? On Thursday, former president George W. Bush expressed his hearty support for a Jeb Bush presidential run, saying that his brother would be “a great president.” Politicians normally crave endorsements from high-profile public figures, but this is one endorsement with a good chance of causing more harm than good.

“I hope Jeb runs,” George said in an interview with Jake Tapper. “I think he would be a great president.”

Years ago, Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza came up with a criteria for sorting and ranking different sorts of political endorsements. George’s support for his brother would seem to fall into the “Pariah Endorsement” category, which is at the very bottom of the hierarchy and reserved for endorsements that actually hurt the endorsee’s chances rather than helping them.

George W. Bush’s approval ratings hit a seven-year high in mid-2013, when a whole 47 percent of respondents said they viewed him favorably. That’s certainly an improvement from the historically-unprecedented 22 percent approval rating George had upon leaving office in 2009, but it still means that a majority of Americans don’t like him. The issue is compounded by growing concerns over the increasingly dynastic nature of American government: Republicans haven’t won a presidential election without a Bush on the ticket since 1972, and 2013 was the first time in 34 years that a Bush or a Clinton hasn’t served in the executive branch.

While Jeb may be personally pleased to have received his brother’s endorsement, don’t expect to hear him touting in New Hampshire or Iowa anytime soon.