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Poppy Chic - NYTimes.com


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The British may have the royal family, but we have the roiling family. It’s lucky that these Mayflower patricians hate introspection so much, because if they looked at their dynasty through a Shakespearean lens, they would be stunned.

One of the best things that ever happened to 41 was having his rowdy son get it together after prodigal decades and join the family business of politics.

And it was one of the worst, because Poppy had to watch W. distance himself, run as the heir to Ronald Reagan and then tar the family name by governing destructively, egged on by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld (41’s old nemesis).

Poppy was relegated to the sidelines, an ex-president whose advice was not solicited even when his son went to war with the same Iraqi dictator whom 41 had trounced and contained. (It was President Obama who gave Poppy the Medal of Freedom, not W.)

The headstrong W. ruined the chances for the scion who had inspired the highest parental hopes, Jeb. (Adding insult to injury, the Florida governor had to help make his less studious brother president by shoplifting the Sunshine State in 2000.)

His parents still harbor hopes, but speaking to Charlie Rose on CBS last week, Jeb sounded wistful about the presidency. “There’s a window of opportunity in life for all sorts of reasons,” he said. “And this was probably my time.”

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