The phones ring constantly at the governor’s Office of Citizen Services. The vast majority of the calls concern the Terri Schiavo case.
The operators don’t actually record anyone’s opinion, or even keep track of how many calls are in favor or against Jeb Bush’s efforts to keep Schiavo’s feeding tube from being removed. But Jeb Bush’s spokeswoman says the response is overwhelmingly on the governor’s side.
"We are just getting an amazing show of support from across the nation. People calling in to thank the governor and to encourage him to continue doing what he can to keep Terri Schiavo alive."
"The e-mails have also been pouring into the governor’s office. More than 32,000 since Monday. And they’re coming in from all over the country."
Joyce in Georgia writes, "Please spare Terri Schiavo’s life." Monica in Virginia write, "Let Terri live."
The overwhelmingly one-sided response is probably due at least in part to the fact that the governor’s contact information is posted on Christian Web sites. But Jeb Bush says his options now are limited.
"I share their deep concerns and I share the concerns of Terri’s parents, but I can’t go beyond what the law allows."
Bush’s staff is working feverishly behind the scenes to see how they can keep Schiavo alive within the law’s constraints. But her fate may ultimately rest with the courts, not the court of public opinion.