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Officially, Israel Hernandez is an aide to George W. Bush, but the 26-year-old is used to hearing all sorts of less-than-glamorous descriptions of his job, such as professional schlepper and purse carrier. But while it’s true he totes around the black canvas bag containing the governor’s stuff—personal numbers, signature cards, bill-signing pens, and tins of Altoids, the peppermints Bush can’t do without—he really does much more, from overseeing travel arrangements to acting as an informal translator for Spanish-speaking dignitaries. He does not, however, worry about hurrying the governor along, since Bush is notoriously early. “We usually have to slow him down,” he says. Hernandez, who was raised in Eagle Pass, earned a philosophy degree from the University of Texas and has worked for Bush since the 1994 campaign, when he repeatedly called and faxed until he was granted an interview—which he arrived an hour early for (“He loved that,” Hernandez says). Will he stay on with Bush if the governor seeks higher office? “I can’t think about that right now,” he says. “The minute you get too caught up in the future, you neglect the present.”