BUSH 45…. When George H. W. Bush, unprompted, brought up the subject of Jeb Bush running for president “someday,” it generated quite a bit of attention, and more than a little mockery, It seemed most political observers realize one would have to be stark raving mad to think we should ever let another Bush near the White House for anything other than a tour.

Opinions were not, however, universal. Here’s the National Review‘s Kathryn Jean Lopez this morning (emphasis in the original):

Former President Bush (there’s currently only one of those!) has endorsed his other governor-son for president. As we await David Paterson’s Caroline Kennedy Senate appointment, I have to think that Jeb for President is not the craziest idea.

Jeb for President can’t happen four years from now. But if Jeb Bush runs for the Martinez Senate seat and puts in some hard time there, voters might consider the presidential possibility, even if he would be a third Bush (the media is another story and might make a win impossible). The man is certainly qualified. He’ll demonstrate that he is, nationally, if he spends time in the Senate. Again, it’s just not the craziest idea, and people might come to agree that it’s not two cycles down the road.

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this kind of thinking became common in conservative circles. Why not give another Bush a try? Third time’s the charm, right?

Sure, most voters recoil at the very mention of the president’s last name, but if we assume Obama is going to be tough to beat 2012, maybe Jeb would be great in 2016. The party may not even have a choice — Republicans haven’t won a presidential election without a Bush on the ticket since 1972.

I’m certain most voters, when considering yet another Bush, would be more than willing to let bygones by bygones. Forgive and forget. Water over the levees under the bridge.


Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.