Jeb Bush's e-book: Rubio, the 2000 recount and emails from mom and dad

Story highlights

  • GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush is promoting his new e-book, "Reply All," which was released Monday
  • While governor of Florida, Bush was known as a prolific email who always had his Blackberry in hand

Tampa, Florida (CNN)Jeb Bush is telling the story of his Florida governorship through his favorite form of communication: email.

In his new e-book, "Reply All," which was released Monday, the struggling Republican candidate was known as a prolific emailer -- a Blackberry can be seen in his official portrait -- and exchanged messages with staffers, constituents and reporters for up to 30 hours a week, according to his campaign.
The book addresses Bush's policy record -- including his budget line item vetoes, school voucher programs, Everglades restoration, elimination of affirmative action, hurricane recovery efforts, and child welfare reform.
    But it also included a few other colorful moments:

    A sword for Rubio

    The book includes a couple of references to Bush's now-presidential rival Marco Rubio, who served in the Florida House of Representatives while Bush was governor.
    One email gave a behind-the-scenes look at what's become an often-mentioned anecdote in the media as the two are now running against each other.
    "I need to get a sword for marco," Bush wrote to a couple of staffers in October 2005.
    That's because Bush, who had become a close political ally of Rubio's, was to speak at a ceremony dedicating Rubio as the next speaker of the Florida House, and he would award Rubio with a golden sword that symbolized a favorite saying of Bush's: "Unleash the Chang."
    It was mythical reference that Bush frequently used when talking about wanting to push conservative causes.

    A tech-savvy governor

    At 62, Bush is one of the older Republicans running for the nomination. But his book attempts to paint him as a governor who was ahead of his time when it came to technology.
    In his first month in office, he asked his communications director to figure out how to make the state website better, labeling it a "high priority."
    In 2001, he held a town hall in Jacksonville and broadcast it on the Internet, and later his administration partnered up with Yahoo! to help put many of the state's services online.
    That same year, Bush writes about how he fell in love for the second time in his life. Someone emailed him about a "miniature remote device called blackberry" and listed all of its new features like the fact that it was "wireless."

    Emails from mom and dad

    The e-book excludes emails from family members, though he did include one from his mom, former first lady Barbara Bush, and one from his dad, former President George H.W. Bush.
    "We are in the car going to hear the Oaks75 in Galveston and have a new toy. We love you. Mom," Barbara wrote in January 2003.
    Bush could hardly contain his delight, responding with only an expression of glee for her new toy: "a blackberry!!!!"
    George H.W. Bush sent his son an email a couple of months later, with a dash of his sarcasm.
    "I love the photo of your swearing in. It is so good of you that I have gotten over my being cropped out by the photographer. Thanks a lot. Love to all, says your devoted, DAD"

    'Stick it up your fat ....'

    While the book is drenched in flattering emails from constituents and colleagues, it also includes a few samples of hate mail. In November 1999, one person took issue with Bush signing into law the "Choose Life" specialty license plates that raised money for anti-abortion causes, as well as his support for abstinence-based counseling programs.
    "If you have the guts to read your own email, let this sink into you brainless mind - $10 Million to fund your christian (sic) value ideas of sex eduction (sic) is outrageous! You can take that plan, long with your fetus license tags, & any other brainless ideas & STICK IT UP YOUR FAT A--!"
    Bush quickly replied: "Have a wonderful restful day. You appear to need it."

    Piano teacher that 'smells of dead' alligators

    One man wrote asking the government to intervene in a scuffle with a neighborhood boy who caused $40 in damage on his property with a baseball. The boy's mom had not reimbursed the man for the damage.
    "I am totally confused. I don't understand how a $40 claim is an issue that would make its way up to Tallahassee," Bush wrote back.
    In another random email, one person wrote with a simple message: "We need peace between the farmers, workers and the clergy. Don't you think?"
    Bush: "Yes."
    In December 2006, a 9-year-old girl named Clare wrote to say that she hated going to piano lessons because her instructor "smells of dead aligators" (sic), but her mom told her to ask the governor whether he had taken music lessons as a child.
    Bush replied: "thank you Clare Jane. yes, I had piano lessons. it was tough and I didn't enjoy it. In fact, I wasn't that good at it. But you know what? It gave me discipline which helped me as an adult."

    Campaigning on the job

    Bush has been spending some of his time lately attacking Rubio for missing votes in the Senate and not fulfilling the duties of his day job. So it was interesting to find an email from someone who accused Bush of spending too much time campaigning for his brother's 2000 presidential bid.
    "You are an employee of the state voted in by people who expect a days work for a days pay," the constituent wrote.
    Bush, however, argued that he works "about 80 hours a week" and campaigns for his brother in his "limited spare time," adding "the taxpayers won't pay a penny."


    In the narrated portion of the book, Bush said he found out about the Supreme Court decision that cleared the election for his brother on the radio on the way home from Mass.
    "I then thanked God the ordeal was over and that George would be our next president. Ironically, the day before I had been in Washington, D.C., in the Oval Office with President Clinton for the signing of the Water Resources Development Act," he said. "It was an awkward moment, given we both were anxious to see whether my brother or his vice president would succeed him."