FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem

by

shutterstock_356859320

Please clap,”Jeb Bush implored the crowd, as if he were trying to get their help to resurrect Tinker Bell after she heroically drank the poisonous brew of listening to his stump speech in its entirety. The former governor of Florida’s face was pained. The crowd was unenthused.

Just another humiliation in a rough campaign for Bush.

Bush, who served as Florida’s governor from 1999–2007, was the front-runner for the nomination only a year ago.

That he’s polling in the single digits now tells as much of a story about Bush the candidate as it does about the rest of the field.

In early 2015, a Jeb Bush Republican presidential nomination was likely, though not a lock. The former Florida governor had all the big money and the potential field looked good for his chances.

There were Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul, but the Republican Party infantilized, hated, and ostracized the three respectively. There were others, like former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and current New Jersey governor Chris Christie, but neither man seemed likely to outweigh Bush’s sense of destiny.

July 13, 2015, was the highest Bush ever got in the polls, rising to almost 18 percent support of likely Republican voters. It must have been a good day for Bush’s campaign office. It was also the beginning of the end.

Five days later, on July 18, Bush had dropped to 15.5 percent. Donald Trump, who had announced his run a month earlier, was climbing in the polls and had reached 15 percent support.

A month later, on August 26, Bush saw the last double digit polling numbers of the race.

Trump annihilated Bush, both in the polls and on the debate stage. The New York City billionaire has treated the Bush scion like a bully treats a particularly targeted nerd; relentlessly teasing and insulting Jeb until the former Florida governor was a shell of his former self.

In fact, the only debate where Bush has not seemed like a bleached, deflated wacky inflatable arm flailing tube man was the last debate before the caucuses, where Trump was a no show.

Trump’s absence allowed Bush to flex his debate muscles- but all evidence shows that it’s too late for that to make much of a difference in his political fortunes. Bush came in fifth in the Iowa caucuses, behind Rand Paul.

Paul’s fourth place showing was sufficiently embarrassing for him to drop out. But not for Bush!

He’s still making a play for New Hampshire, a state that almost certainly will vote for any combination of four or five men before him (Trump, Rubio, Cruz, Christie, Kasich). Perhaps this play is to save what little face he has left in the campaign; Bush partisans have been reported to be requesting Jeb donors wait until after the New Hampshire primary to start the flow of money to Rubio.

Bush, who must know by this point he has no shot whatsoever at the GOP nomination, is taking the opportunity of his last week of realistic campaigning to attempt to scuttle Rubio’s chances at the nomination.

The Florida Senator, who rode a wave of Tea Party support to the Senate in 2010, rose through the ranks of the Florida GOP establishment thanks in large part to the patronage of Governor Bush. That he is polling at least three to four times higher than his mentor in the race for the presidency must be rubbing salt into the wound.

It just doesn’t seem that people like Bush all that much.

Part of Bush’s unpopularity stems from the impression that he feels he deserves to be president, and doesn’t need to earn it.

Jeb gives one the impression that he feels the presidency is a legacy, like getting into Yale or making the varsity soccer team as a high-school freshman because of daddy’s business connections. Unfortunately for him, the base of the party he is running to lead grew up with people like that, and they hate them.

Even his support at home is lukewarm. His mother, whose help he enlisted in a cringeworthy campaign video, threw shade on his run for the nomination in 2013. His father and brother have tried to help, but the latter has so completely destroyed the family name in politics that his presence is more a hindrance than anything else.

As someone who suffered through his brother’s presidency as an adult, it’s been cathartic to watch Bush’s absolute disaster of a campaign for the Republican nomination in 2016.

That the same man who set up an electoral heist for his brother and subjected us to the first half of eight years of horror in the opening of this century is now reduced to begging for affection from Iowans and New Hampshirites is a small victory.

But I’ll take it.

More articles by:
May 31, 2016
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Imperial Blues: On Whitewashing Dictatorship in the 21st Century
Vijay Prashad
Stoking the Fires: Trump and His Legions
Patrick Howlett-Martin
Libya: How to Bring Down a Nation
Uri Avnery
What Happened to Netanyahu?
Corey Payne
Reentry Through Resistance: Détente with Cuba was Accomplished Through Resistance and Solidarity, Not Imperial Benevolence
Bill Quigley
From Tehran to Atlanta: Social Justice Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani’s Fight for Human Rights
Manuel E. Yepe
Trump, Sanders and the Exhaustion of a Political Model
Bruce Lerro
“Network” 40 Years Later: Capitalism in Retrospect and Prospect and Elite Politics Today
Robert Hunziker
Chile’s Robocops
Aidan O'Brien
What’ll It be Folks: Xenophobia or Genocide?
Binoy Kampmark
Emailgate: the Clinton Spin Doctors In Action
Colin Todhunter
The Unique Risks of GM Crops: Science Trumps PR, Fraud and Smear Campaigns
Dave Welsh
Jessica Williams, 29: Another Black Woman Gunned Down By Police
Gary Leupp
Rules for TV News Anchors, on Memorial Day and Every Day
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail