But the truth of the matter is, in conversations with folks from Washington and grassroots activists, his name keeps coming up. “If only,” they’ll say. If only his name weren’t Bush. A third president Bush would just be overkill. It’s an anti-elitism thing. It’s supposedly a fatigue thing. But even George W. Bush is more popular than he was upon leaving office. He’s a bestselling author: As Sarah Palin’s detractors love to point out, he even kept her second book, America by Heart, from the top slot on the New York Times bestseller list spot for weeks with his Decision Points.
One longtime fan with a close working knowledge of the former governor suggests he could be talked into at least the number-two slot on a ticket: “I think he’d definitely take the VP nod.” He’d be a hometown favorite in 2012, when the Republican convention will be held in Florida, “and he’d carry the state and be an asset with Catholics and Hispanics and would help the Republicans a lot on the fundraising and policy side.” (Interestingly, in that light, he recently told CNN “you betcha” when asked if he’d support a Sarah Palin run. Among other things, give him points for recognizing the boost she gives the GOP: The woman motivates.)