Former First Lady Barbara Bush championed her family members in politics for most of her life. By CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe's count, she was the spouse or mother of a candidate in 17 gubernatorial, congressional and presidential campaigns with the Bush name.
in the campaigns of immediate family members from 1964 until 2016, a period spanning more than half a century. She is the only woman in American history to witness her husband and son's presidential swearing-in ceremonies and presidential terms, when her husband, George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st president in 1989, and then again, when son, George W. Bush was sworn in as the 43rd president in 2001.
But she wasn't just an observer — Bush actively participated in those campaigns and in political life. She hit the campaign trail along with her husband and sons, through both successful and failed bids for public office.
That first Bush campaign was her husband's unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 1964. And just two years ago, she was there for her son, Jeb Bush and his failed campaign for the presidency. Though she staunchly supported him, the moment most remember was her viral 2013 comment suggesting the country had had its fill of presidents with the surname "Bush."
"There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes," she said on NBC's "Today Show" in 2013, asked about the possibility of a Jeb Bush White House run. It was a remark she seemed to have made because she apparently thought he had ruled it out. As she put it in the same interview, "He's the most qualified, but I don't think he'll run. I mean, there are other families. He'll get all our enemies, half of our friends."
Here's a list of the all the campaigns Barbara Bush witness and participated in through the years:
- 1964: George H. W. Bush's failed U.S. Senate race
- 1966: George H. W. Bush's successful congressional race
- 1968: George H.W. Bush's successful congressional race
- 1970: George H. W. Bush's failed U.S. Senate race
- 1978: George W. Bush's failed congressional bid
- 1980: George H. W. Bush's failed presidential bid (he became vice president)
- 1984: George H.W. Bush's failed presidential bid (he continued as vice president)
- 1988: George H.W. Bush's successful presidential bid
- 1992: George H.W. Bush's failed presidential reelection bid
- 1994: George W. Bush's successful race for Texas governor
- 1994: Jeb Bush's failed bid for Florida governor
- 1998: Jeb Bush's successful bid for Florida governor
- 1998: George W. Bush's successful reelection bid for Texas governor
- 2000: George W. Bush's successful presidential campaign
- 2002: Jeb Bush's successful reelection campaign for Florida governor
- 2004: George W. Bush's successful reelection campaign
- 2016: Jeb Bush's failed presidential campaign