COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 10, 2015—This week I was privileged to receive a personal letter from Columba Bush, the wife of former Florida Gov. and presidential candidate hopeful Jeb Bush. The letter contained a personal wedding photo from 40 years ago. I was out of town for a couple of days, but my wife helpfully saved it for me. She did not, however, save the return envelope, so I thought I would write this open letter in the hope that Columba (and Jeb) might read it.
Thanks for your recent (undated) personal letter and photo. You note that you “have been meaning to sit down and write [me] this letter.” I have no idea how you got my name and address, but I’m glad you did.
I am truly sorry that you have only one wedding photo—but thanks for sharing. My wife (also of more than 40 years) was less amused. A little TMI, in her opinion. Jeb does have a mustache all right—not quite Magnum PI, but nice. And quite a head of hair. Back then I didn’t have a mustache and quite a bit less hair: I was serving my country overseas in the military. But hey: glad a future First Lady was there to snap a picture.
Yup, you’re just plain folks. I get it. Let me know the next time you visit Chipotle.
But on to the meat of your three-page letter. Yes, I do know that Jeb is considering running for president. His dad and brother have already been there, done that, and now it’s his turn.
I also know that he’s been “traveling the country asking people for their advice, input and support as he considers the future.” You could have had my advice without the cost of the letter if you had read my column from Dec 28, 2014.
In it I wrote, “No more Bushes either. While Bush 43 was more progressive than Bush 41, Jeb Bush wins hands down. One of the founders of Common Core, he’s a non-starter with conservatives.”
Sorry if that seems a little harsh, but sometimes politicians need a little tough love. I suspect he already knows he’s not popular with the conservative base. His experience at CPAC this year told him that. (Was he even at CPAC in 2014?)
You write that “Jeb is a man of his word.” That statement is even its own paragraph for emphasis.
I believe you.
I believe Jeb will push Common Core; he’s been a big supporter. I believe he will push amnesty for those who have entered our country illegally. He has said so.
Those aren’t conservative values. Conservatives believe in the rule of law. Conservatives also know that state and federal governments are different things; that they have different responsibilities. If Jeb does indeed deserve credit for improving Florida schools, great. But the federal government has no proper constitutional role in managing local school districts.
Having executive experience as a governor: great. Knowing that your role in the White House is quite a bit different: priceless.
Since you write that you grew up in Leon, Mexico, you may have missed the finer points of the American system, even after all these years. Mexico, after all, was ruled as a single-party socialist state for a century. Mexican “states” are administrative divisions of the country. That’s not true here.
Not only are we not a single-party unitary country, we also don’t have a hereditary ruling family or group of families. So don’t take it too personally when I say Americans aren’t looking to elect the next Bush; most of us aren’t looking to elect the next Clinton either.
So to let you down easy, I must tell you that I won’t be sending in my personal pledge card or my check for the requested $5,000. You also asked for a photo: one accompanies this column.
PS: You write that you “firmly believe Jeb is the best man for the job.” You may have missed it but Carly Fiorina is in the race. The best man for the job may be a woman.