Miami Dade College is enormous. Who knew? Those in South Flordia certainly know that the humble beginnings of Dade County Junior College, back in 1959 when Jeb Bush was barely out of kindergarten, have long since been left behind. As Miami morphed into the unofficial capital of Latin America, Miami Dade College has boomed. A key event in that evolution was in 1980 when Jeb Bush was returning from a stint as a banker in Caracas, Venezuela. The Mariel boatlift of Cuban refugees brought around 125,000 exiles to South Florida shores in the fall of that year before Carter – rightly worried about his electoral image – shut the operation down. And Miami Dade College – Florida’s first integrated junior college whose mandate was to give African American and Cuban exiles an education – created an outreach program for the recently arrive exiles. At that time Jeb Bush was working on his father’s vice-presidential campaign but as soon as Reagan and Bush had won, he pulled up stakes and moved to his in-law’s adopted state.

So of course Jeb is going to announce – finally – his presidential bid from Miami Dade College. Immigration and Education all bundled up in one key location in the heart of Miami. Perfect for the man who moved to Miami for love and money and became the adult he is in 2015 in that city and that state. That is, as Cubans transformed Miami into the city it is today – for better and for worse – Jeb was right there, building his wealth through a variety of enterprises, some linked to his political capital, and becoming the perfectly bilingual speaker that he is – with a Cuban and not a Mexican accent to boot. It is clear that he is not backing down an inch from his policy platform in the face of conservative criticism and will use the opportunity on June 15 to stake his territory as a moderate GOP candidate with lots of history on his shoulders. The Jeb Express is no high-speed bullet train, but rather a Metrorail, elevated above the squabbling of his petty competitors and gliding smugly through the muggy Miami air. First stop – Common Core and Immigration folks!

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