December 9, 2023

Cover Story - Jeb Bush

Jeb's Legacy

Jeb bush's record has esxtablished him as one of the most influential governors in Florida's modern history.

Mark R. Howard | 3/1/2006
In His Own Words

I'm really not focused on my legacy. It's not in my nature to be particularly reflective anyway.

We're still a weak constitutional executive compared to places like New Jersey, where the New Jersey governor can line-item veto budget appropriations and put in the budget any number they like. Can you imagine having that power?

I think it's really important to have a strong executive in a state as dynamic as Florida. Because I think if you allow the Legislature to be the dominant policy-maker and they begin to micromanage the executive, then you get paralysis. In a state like Florida, you need to seize the opportunity and deal with the problems and move on.

I'm sure I've changed. I just haven't had time to reflect on it. I have a deeper respect for public servants, people that work in government, not just the ones that work in our office that will probably leave when I go, but people who are career people. I think I appreciate their service more now, having been here seven years, than when I was running, for sure.

There should be a discussion. There should be some mention of the fact that evolution is not the ... that there are some unanswered questions in life. I would consider myself, I guess, a creationist because I think God created the heavens and the earth. That makes me a creationist, doesn't it? I don't think my views should be imposed to create the Sunshine skills standards or the standards for curriculum development. That should be done by teachers and education professionals.

My faith also makes it hard for me to issue death warrants. I can tell you that it's not easy for me. It troubles me ... even with these incredibly atrocious crimes that are committed. It's a joyful existence around here but for that.

The job ... is kind of fun. It's a place where you can steal other people's ideas, and they don't seem to be too upset about it. I'm going to miss that a lot.
I will be the first and I hope not the only governor ... to have cut taxes every year, and I'm proud of it. I love it. I just think it's fantastic, and I like it when people get mad that I do it, that I propose it and I'm proud of it. And I think it's humorous that they get mad.

I'm not sure that I can ever have a job like this, so I may have to just recast the whole thought process because if I compare it to this, it will pale.

My brother, whenever he comes here, pulls up in this gigantoid blue baby ... you got to get goose bumps when you see Air Force One land -- it doesn't matter who's in there coming off the plane ... it's just an awesome thing. When he leaves, after he comes and does his thing, he looks over, when I'm with him, he'll point over, "is that your little plane over there?"

In a state like Florida you need to seize the opportunity and deal with the problems and move on. This is not a static place. This is not a place for stasis thinking. This is a place for dynamic action.

In spite of our problems, we are in our ascendancy right now. There's only two ways you go in life, whether it's your own personal life or your business or your state. You're either in your ascendancy or in your decline. You don't stay in place anymore. The world moves too fast.

Tags: Politics & Law, Around Florida, Education, Government/Politics & Law

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