- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) He's been called the budding family star, a symbol of the new inclusiveness of the Republican Party and a measure of youth activism in politics.
Of course, his uncle, the presidential nominee, just calls 24-year-old George P. “the hot member of the family.'' Former President Bush, his grandfather, favors comparisons to Ricky Martin, the Latin pop star.
On Thursday night, the Rice University graduate will warm up the crowds before his uncle's acceptance speech, delivering remarks “peppered in Spanish'' and extending his hand to young and Hispanic voters.
The son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his Mexican wife, Columba, George P. has been a valuable asset in the Bush campaign's strategy to reach out to both of those groups.
He has done so relentlessly this week, scurrying from convention floor to pubs to parks talking up his uncle. He sees himself adding a personal touch to politics and urges young adults not to cave into apathy or cynicism.
“It's up to us to carry the torch,'' he declared to a GOP youth caucus rally. “Are you guys with it?''
There is usually a rousing response. Visiting hundreds of young convention-goers who were painting posters Sunday afternoon, George P. found himself nearly mobbed by fans waving cameras and seeking handshakes.
Despite his grandfather's words, George P. is quick to brush off any suggestions of rock star treatment.
“It's flattering,'' George P. said. “But I do have a message, and I do have a purpose.''
And a weighty name to uphold. Each part bears some connection to his famous family's legacy. There's George and Bush. And also his middle initial “P,'' which some people call him by. That stands for Prescott, as in Sen. Prescott Bush of Connecticut, his great-great grandfather.
But George P., who heads off to law school at the University of Texas in the fall, says he's bound to his uncle's campaign by more than family ties. George W.'s efforts to reach out to minority groups and his track record on education in the state of Texas also appealed to the young Bush, who taught school in Homestead, Fla.
While calling himself a minor player in the process, he is clearly enjoying his time here as a member of the Bush clan. At a Republican fund-raiser Wednesday, George P. recruited sidekick and father Jeb to do a “Top 10'' list for why the Texas governor should be elected.
But his grandmother, Barbara Bush the family “enforcer'' advises him “not to be a showoff like my grandfather,'' he said.
That George Bush, the former president, insists that “it hasn't gone to his head. He's the same down-to-earth kid we love dearly.''
Family members may have only one concern about the young Bush jumping in to political life: being upstaged.
“I'm not so sure we should be campaigning with him anymore,'' the nominee George W. said to his brother Jeb Wednesday. “People are kind of looking beyond us these days.''

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