The stigma may have faded somewhat, but there are still few combinations of words as politically problematic as that of 'Bush' and 'foreign policy'. Former Florida governor and presumed 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush knows this and was quick to show it at an address to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs earlier today.
As has become customary in his public appearances since he announced his intention to 'explore' the possibility of a 2016 run, Bush began his first major foreign policy speech by professing his love for his brother George W Bush and father George HW Bush, both former occupiers of his sought-after post, before going on to claim that he was his 'own man' whose thinking was shaped by his own experiences.
Any adviser worth their salt would have stressed the necessity of this – the American voting public has a famously short memory, but not so short as to forget such a national and international disaster as the response of his brother to the September 11 terrorist attacks, the effects of which are still being felt in the instability of the Middle East and beyond.
The problem is, while opting not to raise the spectre of the second President Bush, Jeb didn't do all that much to distance himself from the worldview that gave rise to those grave mistakes. And, in the absence of any substantial critique of George W's decision-making, he risks being seen as too aligned with his brother's political ideology. Indeed, Jeb's talk of 'regaining American leadership' and claiming that this was a mission for which there was 'no reason to apologise' had an eerie familiarity and might have put a little doubt in some voters' minds, or at least some ideas in those of Democratic strategists.
This is of course a little unfair to Jeb Bush, given that most Republicans are responding to the perceived indecision and compromise of President Obama's foreign policy by returning to the strong-armed ways of old. It is, however, the unfortunate reality he can expect as any campaign proper draws near.
The villain of most of the former governor's speech was, naturally, Obama, who was criticised for not believing that 'America was a force for good in the world', for bringing Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program, for decreasing US military spending (with a 2.5% of GDP level described as 'really dangerous') and for 'gaining nothing' from the recent normalising of relations with Cuba.
By contrast, Jeb unsurprisingly revealed himself to be a staunch supporter of Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a scheduled address to US Congress at the controversial request of Republicans. He also promised to use America's military strength more actively in responding to challenges such as those of the Islamic State and Vladimir Putin's Russia.
Bush seemed to show far less regard than the current president for the challenge that China and other Asian countries pose to American primacy and none at all to the need to coordinate an international response to climate change, which Obama recently reinforced as a major national security challenge.
Where Bush did converge with Obama was on the need to continue domestic reforms in areas such as immigration, education and taxation (likely with different intentions here) in order to power America's economic recovery and thus maintain its predominant position in the world. There was of course no mention of the fact that things have recently started to look a lot better in that regard under Obama.
The lasting impression was that a Jeb Bush foreign policy would be one almost wholly based on ideas of American exceptionalism, military preponderance and responding quickly and unequivocally to any security threats it faced at home or around the world. Sound familiar?