The New York Times reports on the political reticence of Columba Bush, the former Florida first lady, who has always been far more private than her husband and likely Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush:
For 20 years, Columba Bush anticipated the day she would have to answer one big question: Would she support her husband, Jeb Bush, if he decided to run for president?
Last summer and fall, as she wrestled with whether to say yes, her sense of duty was mixed with dread.
Born in Mexico, she had married into a famously political American family and had always been an outsider: a prayerful Roman Catholic, a sensitive loner and lover of the arts who still speaks in heavily accented English. As Florida’s first lady, she had arranged Mass in the governor’s mansion and endured weeks of bad press for a European shopping spree. She blamed politics for friction in her marriage and as a factor in her daughter’s drug addiction. A run for the White House would expose her to the spotlight as never before.
“She knows the good and the bad of being around politics,” said Jim Towey, an official in the administration of President George W. Bush, Jeb’s brother, and a close friend to both Jeb and Columba. “It’s opened the door to extraordinary experiences for her. But she’s paid quite a price, as well.”
A note: The Times piece says Columba Bush gave her final blessing to her husband's presidential ambitions on Thanksgiving. Past Miami Herald reporting suggests she had given her tacit approval by 2011.