Trail To The Chief: Bush Family, Ranked Edition

Bush Family, Ranked Edition

Most of the people who run for president of the United States don't have to stand before the world and plead, "I am my own man." But former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the GOP hopeful who could end up in a battle royal between competing Oval Office family dynasties, doesn't have that luxury. This week, he began, in earnest, the near impossible effort to get voters thinking about his famous last name as more of a bespoke suit than a family crest. (An effort that could have been greatly aided by finding some new foreign policy advisers.)

But that's the thing about beating Jeb's bushes -- they are full of Bushes. You've got your former Presidents Bush and, maybe, a few future Presidents Bush. You have ancient scions and captains of industry who hand-minted one of America's most famous coats-of-arms. You have powerful women -- wives and mothers -- who make you wonder if this family has really been a stealth matriarchy all along. Finally, you have Jeb's own tight-knit family: a diverse household that looks a lot more like America's modern families and has come through the sorts of personal struggles that help it form a lasting, empathetic connection with other families across the nation.

For Jeb, the old cliche is the new cliche: Can he overcome those comparisons to the previous Bush? But if you dig deep, you'll find that this family name comes with at least as many benefits as it does liabilities. This week, we're ranking the branches of an old family tree according to their respective helpfulness for the 2016 election. And no, Right to Rise isn't paying us the big consulting bucks for our sage advice about who to highlight on the campaign trail below.

1 PRESCOTT BUSHPrince George of the American Royal Family. Scion of the scion of the scion of the scion of the original Prescott Bush (look him up) Grandson
2 VIVIAN BUSHAnother great prop baby; matches up well with Hillary's granddaughter, Charlotte. Granddaughter
3 COLUMBA BUSHHer fear of the limelight and customs kerfuffle aside, she's a Hispanic immigrant, a devoted wife and a devout Catholic who convinced Jeb to convert. That's a win-win-win-win-win. Wife
4 NOELLE BUSHWith her family's love, she won her battle with addiction. The healing leaves Jeb with an authentic connection with Americans of all walks of life. Daughter
5 GEORGE P. BUSHH.W.'s "little brown one" has grown up to be a tall, handsome land commissioner in the true Bush homeland of Texas with his grandfather's naval past. Son
6 GEORGE H.W. BUSHAging like fine wine, the former president gets more popular by the day. The far better President Bush to advertise. Father
7 LAURA BUSHFamily class act. It's impossible not to like America's coolest librarian. Sister-in-law
8 BARBARA BUSHDespite the white hair and strands of pearls, she is the godfather in the Bush family. Actually, the Lady Macbeth. Mother
9 JEB BUSH JR.The new "black sheep" of the family. Son
10 BILLY BUSHYou've seen him on "The Soup." And "The Soup" is the kind of "media" that the Bush family isn't afraid of. Cousin
11 LAUREN BUSH (LAUREN)The Bushes weren't real cowboys either. And, yes, that is her name. Niece
12 JENNA BUSH HAGERThe other kind of media the Bush family isn't afraid of. Actually a much better employee in NBC News' celebrity nepotism division than Chelsea Clinton is. Niece
13 BARBARA BUSHLikes Hillary, supports gay rights, is artsy, runs global health nonprofit, but still in the tank for Uncle Jeb. Niece
14 PRESCOTT BUSHScion No. 1. Raccoon-coated Yalie who became a senator and Ike's golfing partner, also married well, i.e., into the Walker family of St. Louis. Grandfather
15 DOROTHY "DORO" BUSH KOCHMarried to a wine lobbyist. Sister
16 MARVIN BUSHRoger Clinton/Billy Carter of the family. Brother
17 NEIL BUSHThe other Roger Clinton/Billy Carter of the family. Brother
18 GEORGE W. BUSHAvid painter. Brother

Candidate Photos: Getty, Associated Press