CLEARWATER, Fla. — Sitting recently on his brick back patio here, Michael Schiavo called Jeb Bush a vindictive, untrustworthy coward.
For years, the self-described “average Joe” felt harassed, targeted and tormented by the most important person in the state.
“It was a living hell,” he said, “and I blame him.”
Michael Schiavo was the husband of Terri Schiavo, the brain-dead woman from the Tampa Bay area who ended up at the center of one of the most contentious, drawn-out conflicts in the history of America’s culture wars. The fight over her death lasted almost a decade. It started as a private legal back-and-forth between her husband and her parents. Before it ended, it moved from circuit courts to district courts to state courts to federal courts, to the U.S. Supreme Court, from the state legislature in Tallahassee to Congress in Washington. The president got involved. So did the pope.
But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, the second son of the 41st president, the younger brother of the 43rd, the man who sits near the top of the extended early list of likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates. On sustained, concentrated display, seen in thousands of pages of court records and hundreds of emails he sent, was Jeb the converted Catholic, Jeb the pro-life conservative, Jeb the hands-on workaholic, Jeb the all-hours emailer—confident, competitive, powerful, obstinate Jeb. Longtime watchers of John Ellis Bush say what he did throughout the Terri Schiavo case demonstrates how he would operate in the Oval Office. They say it’s the Jebbest thing Jeb’s ever done.
2. From Silao, Mexico, Jeb Bush's forgotten father-in-law.
3. Jeb's Talk Radio Problem: As the country’s gotten more complicated, their public relationship has gotten more complicated, too. The crux of the split is a function of their fundamentally at-odds views about immigration—of the very notion, actually, of America’s changing demographics. They both think this country is “exceptional,” but for divergent reasons—Limbaugh extolling “a distinct, singular American culture,” Bush embracing its increasingly multiracial, multi-ethnic makeup. They both moved to South Florida, but to very different parts, and for very different reasons. Bush moved to Miami because he has a Mexican wife and three brown-skinned children. Limbaugh moved to Palm Beach because he’s rich.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Her husband, the governor, had made her the chair of a committee charged with the critical task of proposing more stringent standards for education in their state. “It is indeed an honor for me to have the opportunity to work with you,” she wrote in a letter to the 15 members of the group in late April 1983. She told them they had a chance “to make recommendations that will enable our public schools to offer improved educational opportunities for all our children.” Somebody had typed up a rough draft. The name at the bottom was Hillary Clinton — but she added a correction, in pen, inserting between the two names a third. Rodham.
If the interminable central question about the most-pulled-apart, most-argued-about, most-listened-to, most famous woman in the world has to do with who she actually, authentically is, and if her just-announced campaign needs to be the latest effort to “reintroduce” her, as insiders and advisers have said, it’s worth assessing the busy year here that in many ways introduced her in the first place.
For Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Arkansas education reform of 1983 was her first high-profile public policy initiative. It was a singular, pivotal window of time, too, between who she had been and who she hoped she would be. According to those who knew her and worked with her, it shows who she is because it shows who she was, before Whitewater, before Gennifer and Monica, before the health care crash-and-burn and the constant scandal smolder in Washington.
She was more open and more accessible. She was demanding, exacting and exhausting. And she was policy-first but politically astute, pragmatic, even calculating.
“She can’t run for president because of what she did in Arkansas in 1983,” veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum said. “But what she did in Arkansas in 1983 has to be a kind of a template.”
MAUMEE, Ohio — The 25-year-old who cooked the chicken that went into the burrito bowl Hillary Clinton ordered at the Chipotle here on Monday makes $8.20 an hour and splits rent with two roommates.
The 29-year-old general manager used to work three jobs and now is thrilled to be able to have just this one.
The young woman who was at the cash register was the only employee on duty at the time who thought she recognized her. She considered asking if anybody had ever told her she “looked like Hillary Clinton.” But she didn’t. It was 1:20 p.m., at the tail end of “peak time,” lunch rush.
They were busy.
6. From Portsmouth, N.H., the woman who made Hillary Clinton cry.
9. On where Mike Huckabee made his announcement: A place where Caddo Indians once lived in small groups on the banks of the Red River before Manifest Destiny and epidemic disease; a place where titanic watermelons long have grown in the sandy soil with its shallow roots; a place where the largest source of jobs is a Tyson chicken plant; a place where some of the commerce sucked from downtown by the completion in the 1970s of Interstate 30 has returned in the form of Clinton baubles and novelties hawked and displayed at the house where he was born, and the house where he then moved, and the old train depot that’s been turned into a museum, all of them stops on what the state sells as a “Billgrimage.” Hope.
10. The Year That Changed Jeb Bush Forever: What if the headmaster hadn’t created a committee to rejigger the curriculum? What if Lyons and Frederick hadn’t created Man and Society? What if Bush hadn’t re-done the ninth grade, and he had graduated from Andover in 1970, not 1971? What would he have become?