A question for President Bush on immigration rose up like a ghost from the grave this afternoon in Ohio.
Only the questioner was a 13-year old blonde-headed girl, Jessica Hackerd, from Brecksville, Ohio, who immediately broke into tears after making her inquiry.
“Mr. President, I know immigration has been a big problem in the U.S. And what is your next step with the immigration bill?” Jessica asked Mr. Bush, during a question and answer period after a speech Mr. Bush gave to a Cleveland business group.
Mr. Bush’s sarcastic reply — a wry “yeah, thanks” — drew laughter from the crowd of 400. But the attention caused young Jessica, who characterized herself in an interview afterward as very shy, to immediately tear up.
“No, it’s a great question. No, I appreciate that,” Mr. Bush said, as he saw Jessica’s reaction.
Bush talked for minutes about the issue, but Jessica kept crying. Bush, obviously feeling uncomfortable, tried to cheer her up, but it was to no avail.
At the very end, when all was said and done, an aide took Jessica and her family backstage where they met the President. He talked to them and told Jessica, in her own words: “He said it was really brave of me to do that and he said he probably wouldn’t have been able to do that… and he said it was the first time anybody had asked him about [immigration] since it happened.”
Whether you personally like Bush – or agree with his politics – or not, you have to admit: he handled this quite well (in the end).