AUSTIN, Texas - Members of one of the most influential families in Texas politics were under the capitol dome Friday.
The Austin gathering was for George P. Bush who was sworn into office as the state's new land commissioner. Typically a swearing in ceremony is only a minor news event. But considering what this new "George Bush" may represent for his party, plus the bigger job his dad is considering, the event offered some political intrigue.
He may be a political newcomer but George Prescott Bush certainly has a familiar name. That's why his oath of office ceremony in the Texas Senate Friday morning was not an unexpected event.
The 38-year-old Bush is replacing Jerry Patterson as Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. Bush is taking control of a state agency that oversees renewable energy projects- as well as oil and mineral rights in Texas. Lease deals pump money into the Permanent School Fund. The office also provides financial loans for military veterans, and through its Archives Division preserves historical documents.
"Today is about the hard working single mom who is concern about the kind of education her children receive, it's about the roughneck in the oil patch who is uncertain about the future, of the energy economy, it's about the wounded warrior who is readjusting to civilian life and fighting a battle just as hard as he did in Iraq and Afghanistan, that is who I will think about each and every day at the land office, after all that's who the land office is all about," said the New Land Commissioner.
The ceremony was opened to the media after Bush's uncle - former President George W. Bush was not able to attend. His grandfather, George H.W. Bush , also a past President could not make the trip and watched a video feed from his home in Houston. The 90-year-old Bush recently spent several days in the hospital. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush made the trip to Austin to be with his son. He later spoke to FOX7 about the big day.
"Really proud of him, you saw ... he is a talented and a great guy (His mother) and I are incredibly proud," said Bush who also described the ceremony as, "fantastic."
While George P. Bush has successfully launched a new political career, his father, Jeb Bush, is still trying to decide if he will revive his own political aspirations within the Republican Party. He is considering a run for the White House in 2016 and has recently cut ties with several business ventures that could be liabilities on the campaign trail. Friday, as he left the capitol, Jeb Bush sidestepped FOX 7 reporter Rudy Koski's question about how much longer until we find out what he is going to do?
"Longer," the possible GOP candidate said with a smile as he walked toward the East side exit.