Now that Jenna and Barbara can legally drink, Neil Bush has resumed his mantle as the Bush most likely to embarrass the White House. Neil, whose
disastrous directorship of the Silverado S&L cost American taxpayers $1 billion during his
father’s administration, admitted during recent divorce proceedings not only to bizarre encounters
with Thai prostitutes, but also to cashing in on his family name with lucrative “consulting” contracts.
In August 2002, Bush inked a $2 million contract to provide “expertized advices”
to a semiconductor firm owned by the son of Jiang Zemin. Bush admitted in court he had no experience
in the industry but offered, “I’ve been working in Asia quite a long time.” More recently, Bush scored
a $60,000-a-year consulting deal from a top adviser to New Bridge Strategies, the firm set up by
George W.’s ex-campaign manager to “take advantage of business opportunities” in postwar Iraq.
His job description: taking calls for three hours a week.
This isn’t the first time Bush has been caught up in the pay-to-play world
of corporate cronyism. In December 2002, Bush used a trip to Saudi Arabia—where his family
has many friends—to raise venture capital for his educational-software company, Ignite!
The firm’s products, which help prepare kids for state assessment tests, are already being used
in Governor Jeb’s Florida.
To be fair, being a Bush brother without a public office can’t be easy.
As Neil Bush once asked his critics, “What am I supposed to do—nothing in life?”