Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bush's Audacious Campaign Strategy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bush's Audacious Campaign Strategy

Article excerpt

Byline: Star Parker

In 1992, South Central Los Angeles exploded into riots after a jury acquitted four police officers standing trial about possible excessive use of force in apprehending a black man named Rodney King.

Videotape showed the officers brutally beating King.

The riots destroyed my publishing business there because businesses that were my advertisers were wrecked.

My eyes had opened to the destructiveness of welfare that had been destroying my own life and was destroying the minority urban communities around me. My Christian conversion gave me the faith and power to walk away from it all, get my bachelor's degree and start my business.

Rush Limbaugh heard my story and in early 1994 wrote about me in his Limbaugh Letter; he also talked about me on his radio show.

I received a call from a man who told me his name was Jeb Bush. He said he was considering running for governor in Florida, and he wanted to hear more about my thoughts about welfare, how it could be reformed and what we should be thinking about regarding revitalizing inner-city life.

Bush went on to run for governor of Florida in 1994, losing to Democrat incumbent Lawton Chiles by less than 2 percentage points. However he ran again in 1998 successfully, going on to become Florida's first two-term Republican governor.

This week, Bush's speech at Miami-Dade College announcing his candidacy for the presidency stirred up the memory of that day when he called me.

I felt I was listening to the same independent thinking man of principle: the son of a president, with familial roots in New England aristocracy, who out of the blue would call a black former welfare mother to pick her brain about ideas because he was out searching, seeking the truth because he was trying to think through how to make things better. …

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