Columba Bush, though notoriously private, has come under the microscope recently for her decadent spending habits.
Columba Bush reportedly tried to mislead customs officials about how much her haul was worth when returning from a five-day Paris shopping trip.
She was then detained and fined. When Columba Bush's crime made it to the press, she said that she tried to mislead the customs agents because she didn't want Jeb to know that she had spent $19,000 on the trip.
That makes Columba Bush sound pretty normal! However, this wasn't just an isolated incident.
Columba Bush later said of the incident, “The embarrassment I felt made me ashamed to face my family and friends. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my life.”
The embarrassment, however, didn't stop Columba Bush from taking out a loan less than a year later to buy $42,311.70 worth of jewelry on a single day, according to records filed with the state of Florida by Mayors Jewelers.
This was a pattern that continued throughout a 14-year period, costing Columba Bush a total of around $90,000.
Backers and supporters of Jeb Bush's possible 2016 presidential campaign have been worried that Columba Bush's spending habits might harm his run.
However, Bush family spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said by e-mail, “Mrs. Bush bought jewelry from time to time from Mayors Jewelers over the years. Though not required to be reported, these purchases in 2000 were included as accounts payable on Governor Bush’s financial disclosure that year, and paid off the next.”
Sounds reasonable. Obviously, these purchases are well within the Bush's means.
But, it seems Columba may have, at other times, went to great lengths to keep her purchases secret from her husband.
For instance, Columba Bush took out five different loans to pay for purchases at Mayors Jewelers. On at least one occasion, she listed the address at the governor's mansion.
But, on at least one other occasion, she had the paperwork sent to a P.O. Box. In another instance, the address was a UPS Store that used to be a Mailboxes, Etc.
The big question is this. Will Columba Bush's extravagent lifestyle make Jeb Bush seem isolated from the life of the common voter?
What do you think?