With former Gov. Jeb Bush and the issue of immigration in and out of the news as of late, there's no better time than the present to post something from the past (specifically, June 1, 1986 in The Herald's Tropic magazine).
And though its decades old, this "Family Business" profile of Bush still captures much of the man you see today. And it still captures Miami, a place where an illegal immigrant waitress can petition a scion of one of the most-powerful political families in American history.
Here it is:
By Joel Achenbach
Little Havana, a packed Cuban restaurant. The waitress has a problem. Immigration. She is not legal. She writes her phone number down on a napkin. Jeb Bush slips it into his shirt pocket. "Por Favor. Por Favor. Por Favor," she says.
Jeb nods: "Si, si, voy a tratar." Yes, I'll try.
"Recuerdes," the waitress says. Remember.
Jeb Bush is not a lawyer. He has nothing to do with immigration. He is in real estate. He leases space in buildings, to be precise. But he's Jeb Bush. Jeb . . . Bush. When you are the son of the man who flies around in Air Force Two, son of the man who is the favorite to succeed Ronald Reagan as the next leader of the most powerful nation on Earth -- when you are such a son, it is naturally assumed that you have merely to tuck a napkin in your pocket and soon a complex set of immigration questions will be taken care of.