Florida Gov. Jeb Bush stood inside the emergency operations center in Tallahassee in September 2004 when his transportation chief delivered the devastating news: The I-10 bridge east of Pensacola had crumbled into Escambia Bay, washed out by Hurricane Ivan.
Bush leaned over to the transportation chief, a Cuban-born engineer from Miami, and said the first thing that came to mind: “Qué cagazón.” What a sh--storm.
It was quintessential Cuban slang from a man who, nearly a quarter-century earlier, had arrived in Miami to strike it big in business and politics. But as much as Miami — and its Cuban-American culture — left its indelible mark on Bush, he, too, left his imprint on Miami: He transcended two cultures — one American, one Hispanic — and became an honorary Cuban American.
Jeb Bush, 62, will announce his Republican presidential campaign Monday at Miami Dade College’s campus in Kendall, one of the many hearts of Cuban Miami, and introduce himself as a successful entrepreneur and politician in his own right to a country that knows him as the son and brother of two former presidents.