Have enough Americans forgiven George W. Bush that they'll vote for his brother for president? Jeb Bush is doing several things that indicate he thinks so. He gave a speech in Dallas Wednesday titled "Restoring America's Promise: The Leadership Required and the Policy Changes that are Needed." He wrote a book about immigration reform. He's giving speeches about education. Oh, and he's getting potentially embarrassing news out of the way. Bush's maid was deported in 1991, The Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia and Peter Wallsten report Wednesday. "It was a difficult time for all of us, but most of all for Maria," Bush told the newspaper.
Bush and his wife Columba could not stop the deportation, even though Bush's dad was president at the time, the Post reports. Jeb Jr. was just 10, and didn't know she was deported. "I thought she just left," Jeb Jr. says. The Post is clear about what Bush's experience means: "While Republicans cast about for leaders who can connect with Spanish-speaking voters, this tall Texas native with the Mexican American wife has remarkably come to represent a kind of Hispanic consciousness for the party." Bush has experience with bigotry. When his son was playing a baseball game in seventh grade, someone in the stands yelled out a slur for Hispanic. "His skin is darker, because my wife is from Mexico," Bush said at a 1998 campaign stop. "He has been discriminated against... This was my family. There is hatred out there."