The impending retirement of Mel Martinez has led to speculation that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush may make a run for the Senate:

Two sources close to Jeb Bush, including one who has spoken to the former Florida governor within the past few hours, say he is seriously considering a run for Senate now that incumbent Republican Mel Martinez has retired.

“He is receiving a lot of encouragement from both in and out of the state,” an longtime Bush adviser said tonight. “He is going to take his time and approach this very methodically.” Bush will weigh, according to this adviser, how a run would impact his family, his business, and whether the Senate would be the best platform for the causes he’d advocate — education, immigration, GOP solutions to health care and energy.

Bush did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

If he decides to run, Republicans expect the field to clear for him.

That’s from Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic, and the rumor has apparently been confirmed by The Miami Herald.

When you hear news like this, you can’t help but wonder if Jeb doesn’t just have the idea of running for President at some point in the future, and while Justin does have a point when he says that the current President Bush has done some damage to the family name, Joe Gandelman reminds us that people have said that about the Bush’s before:

Bush 41’s defeat was supposed to have set back the Bush brand. Bush 43’s virtual defeat (seeing his party defeated in November, his polls approach the South Pole, and historians rank him as one of the worst Presidents in American history) was said to have set back the Bush brand.

But it seems like the Bush brand is rising from the political grave.

If Bush does run for Florida’s open Senate seat in 2010 and wins, which seems to be at least a distinct possibility, then he will have gone a long way toward rehabilitating the Bush brand and making a political reputation of his own independent of his brother’s. After that, could a White House run — more likely in 2016 than 2012 I would think — be entirely beyond the realm of possibility ? I don’t think so.

Originally posted at Below The Beltway

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