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  •   Gov. Bush Reconsiders
    Desire to Be President

    Gov. George W. Bush (R-Tex.)
    Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) is a favorite son among many Republicans, both for this fall and 2000. (AP)
    Thursday, September 17, 1998; Page A15

    AUSTIN, Sept. 16 – Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) said the scandal involving President Clinton is depressing and has left him wondering if he wants to seek the presidency, a newspaper reported today.

    Bush, son of former president George Bush and a possible candidate for the Republican nomination in 2000, told the Austin American-Statesman that the scandal was not good for the country. He refused, however, to join a growing chorus calling for Clinton's resignation following disclosure of his sexual relations with former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky.

    "This has been a very depressing time for me," Bush said. "The process in Washington is a sullied process, and I take no joy in any of this going on. It's sullied. It's not good for America."

    Bush, 52, has admitted to committing his own youthful indiscretions but has never disclosed what they were. He has said he used to drink heavily but stopped in 1986.

    He said the Clinton scandal had underscored his oft-stated concern about the difficulty of living in what he calls the "bubble" of security and public scrutiny enveloping a president, which he saw first-hand when his father was in the White House.

    "It's a troubling period. . . . I think running for president is a commitment to the 'bubble' and I've got to make up my mind at the right time if that's what I want to do," Bush said. "Is this something I want to put my family through?"

    The governor, who is seeking reelection in November and has a big lead over Democrat Garry Mauro, a Clinton ally, said it was up to Clinton to decide if he wants to quit or face possible impeachment for the affair and the lies he told about it. "He is going to have to ask how effective he is as the president of the United States. I'm certainly not going to be out here on the sidelines chirping away, giving him advice," Bush said.

    © Copyright 1998 Reuters Ltd.

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