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He encountered Sherrie Morrow of Kittery, Maine and her son Zacharie, 13. They chatted with Bush and when they left, Zachary left with this:
Jeb & Zacharie had a nerd moment on NASA- Jeb came back, gave him this. "Slow & steady wins the race," Jeb told him. pic.twitter.com/Q9eNCAYdxJ— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) January 6, 2016
It’s a small metallic turtle. With it, he left Zacharie a piece of advice, a slogan that’s become his campaign’s adage: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Their conversation began with one shared interest.
“So all of my life, I’ve loved space,” the seventh grader says.
The former Florida governor, and self-professed “space nerd”, a smile brightening on his face, slides in the booth.
The two chat eagerly about NASA; Bush tells him about the awe of a space launch.
Stopped for breakfast in NH & met a fellow space nerd. 7th grader Zacharie asked about my plans to restore NASA. pic.twitter.com/nSRFoSAvwT— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 6, 2016
It turns out the parting gift was not entirely unique. As Bush later showed reporters, he has other tiny turtles lining his pockets, just for occasions like these. So what else did he have inside?
"Let's see what I got here, I got a little baby Jesus, I got my rosary beads and I got three turtles,” Bush said.
We’ve gotten a small peek at his “baby Jesus” before. It is a small effigy of an infant Jesus Christ in a manger, first referenced at a town hall in Hooksett in December.
"I actually carry little baby Jesus here with me because it’s my strength. This is an arduous process, man,” Bush told a voter. He later told reporters that it was given to him by someone he met on the campaign trail.
The turtles, according to the campaign, come from New Hampshire State Representative William Gannon, an early endorser of Bush.
As for Zacharie, who knew nothing about Bush’s zeal for space, he's been won over. When asked about the advice Bush gave him, he repeated the phrase.
“Slow and steady wins the race...and hopefully that’s true,” Zacharie said, smiling.