Bush also thought it might cost him a second term as Florida governor.
"If we are unsuccessful . . . I will be Governor for four years whether that is the time I want to serve or not," he wrote to Bradshaw and her husband Paul, a Tallahassee lobbyist.
It was April 27, 1999. A few hours earlier, Bush had learned that a legislative conference committee had approved his sweeping plan to reform education.
"I really don’t think many people understand the significance of our plan passing. In fact, I am certain that they don’t," wrote Bush.
Bush's A+ Plan - the father of Common Core - would become law two months later. Bush's sweeping plan would fundamentally change Florida schools, throw open the doors to state-funded charter schools, make student testing a continuing measure of a school's success, and each Florida school would annually be graded from A to F.
Since the plan's adoption, it has faced withering opposition from teacher unions and school administrators. Parents worry that students are being taught only what they need to know to pass the mandated tests. And as Bush's education philosophy morphed into a national Common Core movement, Republican conservatives would balk fearing a federal takeover of student education.
While Bush could not predict then that he would be a presidential candidate in 2016 forced to defend Common Core and education reform, he did foresee potential political peril.
"I believe it is huge," wrote Bush. "Politically, it is very dangerous."
"It is more than worth the risk," Bush continued. "I think it will work. It is certainly worth the risk!"
Bush closes his wee hour email sounding excited, and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by his success.