If the pre-presidential campaign book is an expected rite on the route to the White House, Jeb Bush is determined to pioneer the newest chapter in campaign literature: the e-book.
The former Florida governor and likely 2016 presidential hopeful released the first chapter in his as-yet-untitled e-book Tuesday, along with 250,000 emails from his time in office.
The release of both the e-book chapter and emails was designed to show his transparency and his tech-savvy.
But it also irrevocably changed that quadrennial rite – the pre-presidential biography or treatise. While the stale, carefully crafted presidential book isn't going away anytime soon, with his e-book, Gov. Bush has offered something new: tech-forward, instant, direct.
And it's not just the format that is tech-forward.
The book is an effort to "tell the story of a life of a governor" through "the use of [Bush's] emails."
The first chapter is from the first month he was inaugurated in 1999.
“I didn’t want to disappear into the governor’s office,” Bush writes in the introduction to the book. “The best ideas would come from outside of our state capital. From Floridians. But now that the campaign was over, how could I keep track of what Floridians were thinking? I needed their energy and passion and wisdom.”
Which is how the e-Governor, as Bush likes to cast himself, was born.
During his days as Governor, Bush was notorious for his BlackBerry addiction. He event went so far as to have it included in his official portrait. As such, technology plays a central role in his e-book, in which he says his staff estimates he spent 30 hours a week answering e-mails.
In the book, Bush said he “earned the nickname ‘The eGovernor,’” writing back and forth with constituents, staff, and even children “very early in the morning, late at night, or on Saturday.” He writes that he tried to reserve Sundays for his wife and three children, with “no emails,” but “didn’t always succeed.”
Bush also wrote candidly about the perks and pitfalls of the office.
“The biggest surprise is the volume of my voice,” Bush said in the e-book. “People listen to what I say and do.”
The “toughest decision,” he said, was the “appointments process.”
“Friends who were expecting jobs have not gotten what they want and while I will always do what I think is right, it’s not fun to disappoint.”
Overall, however, in the first chapter, he painted a convincing picture of an executive who truly enjoyed his job.
“I loved being the governor of Florida. It was my dream job, and that feeling never changed, not in eight years. Not through the hurricanes, budget debates, or even hanging chads,” Bush writes.
The rest of the book will be released by the end of this year.
And it's likely to be one of many more presidential e-books, if Bush's trend catches on.