Poor Jeb Bush. He is supposed to be the smart brother, the one that Barbara and Poppy really wanted to be president. But if the way he is running his 2016 campaign is any sign of what a “Jeb!” presidency would be like, we might actually be thanking the gods and minor deities that we got W, and not his “smarter” brother.
It could be “Bush fatigue” caused by his brother’s disastrous presidency. It could be that Jeb attracts the polite, suburban white Protestant voters who have traditionally supported Republican candidates. It could be that Jeb is about as exciting as a piece of dry toast when delivering a stump speech. But nobody seems to care that he is running for president, and you can’t help but wonder if even the people who show up for his
afternoon teas campaign rallies would just like to tell him to please get the hell out of the race. In fact, an announcement to that effect could just be Bush’s best applause line of the campaign.
Bush spoke to a crowd at the Hanover Inn in Hanover, New Hampshire on February 2, just a day after garnering a dismal 2.8 percent of the vote in Iowa. The attendees at the rally who are visible on camera are an interesting looking bunch — the typical gray-haired men and women, some who appear to be 40-something suburbanites, and a few who don’t look like they’re old enough to vote. A little girl sitting on stage sums up the apparent feeling of the group without saying a word. As Bush speaks, she leans over into her mother in the classic “mommy, when will this be over so we can go home?” pose that every parent is familiar with.
Bush is prattling on about being commander in chief, saying he won’t “trash talk,” or “be a divider in chief or an agitator in chief,” obvious shots at Trump and Cruz. When he finishes, the audience fails to recognize that Jeb has just delivered his big applause line. There is an awkward moment of silence, then Bush says, “Please clap.” The audience chuckles, then responds with polite applause. Whoever posted this video to YouTube editorializes that you can “actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half.”
After this, and his super-PAC’s expenditure of $14 million in Iowa to get him to 2.8 percent, if Jeb can’t see that he needs to wrap up his campaign and go home, then he needs to surrender the title of “W’s smarter brother.”
Here’s Jeb’s moment of pathos, via YouTube:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdCYMvaUcrA?rel=0]
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr