That Time Jeb Bush Wrote the White House About Getting Americans to Eat More Rabbit Meat

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

The New York Times dutifully, because Jeb Bush is a Republican, offers a long list of favors and advantages he took for himself as a member of his prominent political family.

It ranges from large to small, with something of a humorous item buried down the rabbit hole of the end of the article.

Readers can judge for themselves the significance of the large list. But this one seems to be something of a rabbit punch, if you will.

The stream of requests to the White House from Jeb Bush, a young but well-connected Republican leader in South Florida, ranged from the weighty and urgent to the parochial and mundane.

In one case, an entrepreneur who had attended a fund-raiser for a George Bush PAC in 1985 handed his son a letter requesting a contact at the Department of Agriculture to advance her business plan: increasing the consumption of domestic rabbit meat. [emphasis added]

Mr. Bush, sounding a bit embarrassed, pursued it nevertheless. “The enclosed letter is a bit unusual but it is serious,” Mr. Bush wrote in a letter to Mr. Collamore a few days after the fund-raiser. “Can you get to me a name at U.S.D.A. to help her out?” Mr. Collamore dutifully tracked down the right person. “If anything else is needed, please don’t hesitate to let me know,” Mr. Collamore wrote to Mr. Bush.

If such an odd request left Mr. Collamore annoyed, he never let on. Years later, he traded a series of admiring emails with Mr. Bush during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, where Mr. Bush’s father, brother and son George P. Bush had gathered. Mr. Bush could not make it, so he asked Mr. Collamore to give his son a hug in his place.

Mr. Collamore did one better: He arranged for Mr. Bush’s son and daughter-in-law to attend the United States Open tennis tournament.

“A nice break,” he wrote Mr. Bush, “from all this convention stuff.”


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