A legacy of political prowess
It was a healthy group of young professionals that gathered in the River Oaks home of Kay and Fred Zeidman to hear a new Bush/Quayle team recite the anthem of Republican loyalists.
George P. Bush, grandson of President Bush 41 and nephew of President Bush 43, joined forces with Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), son of 41's Vice President Dan Quayle, in a political fundraiser aimed at enticing a younger constituency into action.
The event was hosted by Maverick PAC, a political action committee aimed at young professionals. Bush, 35, of Austin and Houstonian Jay Zeidman, 28, chair the national organization and both promoted the agenda at the gathering of close to 100 would-be participants in the political process.
The presidential grandson
"It's an important organization initially founded as a state PAC. Formed in Austin, formed by my uncle's (President George W. Bush) supporters basically after the '04 cycle," Bush said of MAV PAC. Fred Zeidman, Jay Zeidman's father, was instrumental in the original MAV PAC.
"And basically the idea and the mission is to get younger people, especially young professionals involved — because you've got Young Republicans and college Republicans on one end and then you have guys like Ben on the other end, who are serving their country and there really isn't much of a bridge. And that's what MAV PAC in Texas is doing, basically getting people to either run for office or be involved with politics."
Bush and the younger Zeidman took over the organization in 2009 and decided the time was right to expand the mission nationally. Since then, they have been engaging young professionals (preferably under the age of 45) across the country. MAV PAC now boasts close to a dozen chapters in nine states.
Spreading the word
"We're doing events just like this across the country at an affordable price, $25 to $50," Jay Zeidman said. "These are young professionals who are starting to participate in the process, people in finance and law, in different fields, but people who really want to come and network with each other and want to hear from the future of the party. And that's what you have here, two guys carrying on the legacy of their families and it's important to do it. It's evidenced by the crowd tonight and we're going to keep doing it."
Typically, these events are headlined by Republican leaders, Zeidman said, such as congressmen, senators, governors, CEOs — "all people that are influential in the Republican party."
Quayle offered his take on the importance of engaging a younger constituency, "I think if you look at all of the problems that are going to be facing our country and are currently facing our country -- our generations are the ones that are going to have to pick up the pieces.
"I always like to say that the younger generations, I'm 35, we are the least represented segment of the population in Congress. And we have about five or six who are 35 and younger, all Republicans, by the way. And we need people to get more involved. We need people to get more invovled so that they have a say because the things that Congress does and that the administration does right now will have an effect on us 10, 15, 20 years down the road. So if we can nip it in the bud, we can have a better outcome going forward."