By Nicole Bolt
With the presidential elections a year away, campaigning is in full swing. The candidates have already proved interesting, and the debates have been nothing short of entertaining. Politics and policies aside, both the Republicans and Democrats have strong intellectuals, all with the country’s best interest at the forefront of their campaign. Some candidates are doctors, others career politicians, and many published authors. One candidate has quite the reputation to uphold — his father a former U.S. President, as well as older brother. One President in the family is impressive, two, a monumental legacy to uphold. Jeb Bush not only belongs to a family of Presidents, but also to one of the most esteemed academic establishments in our country, Phi Beta Kappa.
Jeb Bush was born in Midland, Texas, and unlike his family who had a longstanding tradition of attending Yale, Bush graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. His father, George H.W. Bush, attended Yale, where he was on the varsity tennis team as a sophomore, graduated in two and a half years Magna Cum Laude, and became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While older brother George W. Bush often made light of his academic accomplishments during his time at Yale, Jeb Bush proves that it is up to the student to make the most out of what a university has to offer.
This spring, a New York Times article by Michael Barbaro, “Jeb Bush Gives Party Something to Think About,” explained how Bush brought his academic background into his administration as Governor of Florida. Barbaro writes that Bush had seminars with his staff and social scientists with “brainstorming sessions” he called “think weeks.” Bush, an avid book lover, has also been known to write letters to his favorite authors and send questions in to think tanks, according to Barbaro. Even after college, he proved that continually learning and creating an academic environment is extremely important, especially in politics.
Both political parties have intelligent and capable candidates that make education a priority. If elected, Jeb Bush would be the 18th U.S. President who is Phi Beta Kappa. Phi Beta Kappa members have continuously upheld a standard of excellence, and reaching for President of the United States is no exception.
Nicole Bolt is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in English with minors in mass communications and communications studies.