Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Third Bush push for president

Former president George HW Bush, father of the outgoing US commander-in-chief, has touted another son, Jeb, for a future presidential bid.

"I'd like to see him run. I'd like to see him be president some day," the elder Bush, 84, who was the 41st president, told Fox News yesterday.

"I think he's as qualified and able as anyone I know," he said in an interview, adding however that "now is not the time" to push another White House run by a member of his famous family dynasty.

"There have been enough Bushes in there," said the octogenarian, who served as commander-in-chief from 1989 to 1993. His son, George W Bush, leaves the White House on January 20 after two terms.

He said son Jeb, a former governor of Florida, would also would make an "outstanding" senator representing the state.

"He's a guy who really has a feel for people, the issues in Florida and nationally and his political days ought not to be over," Bush said.

The former president also had words of praise for his older son, who faces relentless criticism and historically low opinion polls as he ends his eight-year White House stint in a little over two weeks.

"The fact that everything that's a problem in this country should be put on his shoulders, that's not fair," Bush said.

"He ran a clean operation, having kept this country strong and free after unprecedented in history attack, 9/11, and he'll have a lot to be proud of," said Bush, adding "he'll come home with his head high."

Schumer: Franken is the winner

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the just-departed chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, declared Sunday that Al Franken has won the Minnesota Senate recount against Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.).

“With the Minnesota recount complete, it is now clear that Al Franken won the election. The Canvassing Board will meet tomorrow to wrap up its work and certify him the winner, and while there are still possible legal issues that will run their course, there is no longer any doubt who will be the next Senator from Minnesota,” Schumer said in a statement.

Franken leads Coleman by 225 votes, with all ballots recounted. Minnesota’s Canvassing Board is scheduled to declare Franken the winner on Monday. The Coleman campaign, however, has filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court requesting that over 600 absentee ballots be added to the count that it believes were unfairly rejected.

The Coleman campaign has also signaled it will be contesting the election result in court, arguing that some ballots were counted twice during the recount. If Coleman’s campaign contested the results, Franken would not be certified as the official winner until all the legal challenges are resolved.

Sen. John Cornyn, the incoming chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has said Republicans will block seating Franken in the Senate until a winner has been officially certified.

But Schumer suggested he has little patience for a protracted legal challenge.

“With the Senate set to begin meeting on Tuesday to address the important issues facing the nation, it is crucial that Minnesota’s seat not remain empty, and I hope this process will resolve itself as soon as possible,” Schumer said.