Another political mom keeps an eye on her son


Hope Gallagher, right, mother of Florida's new chief financial officer Tom Gallagher, poses with former first lady Barbara Bush recently in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Associated Press
Published: Monday, January 20, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 11:57 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE - The Bush boys aren't the only politicians with a tough mother who likes to keep high profile sons in line.
Florida's new chief financial officer, Tom Gallagher, was sworn into the new Cabinet job last week with his 83-year-old mother, Hope, standing alongside Gallagher, his wife, Laura, and young son.
"Yeah, I noticed," said Gov. Jeb Bush, whose mom sat a few feet away when he was sworn into a second term moments later. "Having a mother that looks after you, I twitch."
Gallagher, the oldest of eight children and a longtime Florida politico, also shudders sometimes under this mom's watchful eye. "There are no restrictions on what she's going to say," he said." Indeed, Gallagher had dyed his hair during his successful 1990 campaign for Florida insurance commissioner. The morning after his election victory, his parents and siblings greeted him at breakfast - all wearing jet-black wigs.
Mrs. Gallagher said it wasn't her idea, but she liked the joke. "I would never think of something like that in a million years, but I thought it was very funny."
Since then, Gallagher has gone natural. He is now nearly all gray, and still winning elections.
There are some things Gallagher doesn't ask his mom.
"She takes no prisoners," he said. "Don't ever ask her opinion if you're not ready to hear it. And you're liable to hear it without asking."
Most Republicans believe Tom Gallagher has the inside track for the party's gubernatorial nomination in 2006. Bush cannot seek re-election.
Mrs. Gallagher doesn't like the idea, particularly since her son already lost two gubernatorial campaigns.
"He ought to give up on governor," she said. "He's tried it twice. I think after you try it twice you ought to turn to something else."

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