Read the excellent report in the New York Times: "... a review of Mr. Bush's finances shows that he has built his personal wealth with the help of companies that had business interests with Florida while he was governor." Remember: elected to governor of Florida in 1998, Jeb had two years advance on his brother, George W. Bush, putting in place the experiment of privatizing government services like prisons and water management services.
Jeb!'s path to wealth -- political connections -- belongs to a very exclusive club and mainly offered to high ranking politicians who cash out after leaving office. The New York Times report notes the incongruity of Jeb's current campaign seeking to limit the influence of former elected officials as lobbyists.
Jeb's earlier ventures included well-documented consultant gigs that traded on his family connections (ie. water pumps to Nigeria) and hood-ornament status in Armando Codina's empire; Codina was then the most recognized and accomplished of Miami's Cuban American builders. Jeb! told a reporter at the time, "I want to be very wealthy." He did, and his path to wealth was the Governor's Office.
This primary season and with alacrity, Marco Rubio is supplanting Jeb! within the ranks of Miami's Latin Builders Association. The LBA was Jeb's political keystone support during his campaigns for governor. In a recent Politico report on Rubio by Ann Louise Bardach, lobbyist Jorge Luis Lopez explains the reversal, "blood is thicker than politics".
For Jeb!, "there are much cooler things I could be doing", means returning to super-sized wealth spun from Republican contacts. It would certainly be easier than a presidential campaign where very little has gone right except persuading top GOP donors to part with more than $100 million into the super PAC supporting Bush before the GOP presidential season had sorted itself out.
Marco wouldn't begrudge Jeb's retirement from this primary battle to "earn" tens of millions more, even if his value-added contribution doesn't amount to a hill of beans. It is the American Way and Marco knows whatever happens during this presidential primary season, that hill of beans will make him rich, too, whatever the outcome. No hard feelings.
Alan Farago is co-blogger under a pen name, gimleteye, at Eye On Miami.