Back in 2008, if you had told Americans that just eight years later another Bush would be running for president, most would have probably thought you were out of your mind. Now with Jeb Bush’s candidacy, there’s a chance that this country could potentially elect a third Bush to the White House.
Yet even though he was long considered a sure bet Republican frontrunner and the most likely nominee, that’s looking less and less likely all the time.
Bush’s first problem is that he’s basically just another Mitt Romney. By that I mean, he’s someone who was recruited to run for president mainly because of just how terrible all the other candidates are. He was seen as the “most electable” of all the clowns – the “sure-bet” Republican who could appeal to moderates and win the independent vote (wishful thinking, but these people don’t usually deal in reality as it is).
Now his campaign is all but on life support as recent poll numbers have him continuing to fall out of favor with Republican voters. Real Clear Politics currently has him 11 points behind Trump and only one point ahead of Ben Carson in their average of national polling, while he’s currently 6th in Iowa (tied with Marco Rubio) and 3rd in New Hampshire. He’s been nosediving in pretty much any and every legitimate poll that’s been released since April.
Not only that, but if you look at the Fox News poll that RCP references, he comes in fourth behind Trump, Carson and Cruz nationally. As the presumptive favorite to win the nomination, if you can’t even do well in a Fox News poll – you’re screwed.
While we can go back and forth all day about the merits of Jeb Bush’s campaign, his biggest problem is – he’s a Bush. Not that I’m saying his last name instantly disqualifies him from being president; I’m more focused on his genetics. The more he talks, the more he reminds the American people of his brother. It’s hard to run for president claiming you’re not George W. Bush, when you’re essentially setting up a presidential campaign comprised of many of his former advisers and policies that look a whole heck of a lot like what he supported.
Let’s just take a look at a few of the really idiotic things Jeb has said over the last few months:
- He literally tried to criticize President Obama for being too intelligent (no, that’s not a joke).
- He said Americans don’t work hard enough.
- He said it was “arrogant” to trust the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real.
- He publicly stated that he doesn’t believe gay Americans can provide loving homes for children.
- He actually tried using the Apple Watch as a way to attack the Affordable Care Act.
- He said he would have invaded Iraq just like his brother – then it took him of being destroyed in the media to finally say he misspoke.
And all of those happened in just the last few months – we’re not going back years here. He’s often been called the “smarter Bush,” but I’m not sure if we can even call him that at this point.
As someone who’s always seen him as the person I believed would walk away with the nomination, even I’m doubting his ability to become the GOP nominee. In general, conservatives were never really that enthusiastic about him in the first place. But it seems that even the low expectations many of them had for him aren’t being met.
He’s not out of it yet obviously (it is still relatively early and he’s still top 5 in most Republican polls), but at this rate, all of the political rhetoric, spin and Super PAC money in the world won’t be able to fix Jeb Bush’s campaign. Fine by me.