Jeb Bush puts on a fire jacket during a campaign stop at Globe Manufacturing, a family owned business for more than 125 years that makes suits for firefighters.
Friday, the Huffingtonpost screamed
“Jeb Bush Seeks To Escape The Jaws Of Humiliation In New Hampshire”
This might be an overly hasty dismissal of a well funded and pedigreed campaign. However, the truth is that Jeb Bush who began the campaign as the consensus favorite to win the Republican nomination has a campaign that is heavily listing water.
Yes, he has raised more than $100 million through his super PAC before even officially entering the race. But since then, Bush’s decline in relevance has been as steady as it has been disconcerting for a storied GOP clan that has already produced two commanders-in-chief and isn’t used to being embarrassed in the family business of presidential politics.
Sadly, no gravitas
In Bush’s camp, the thinking goes that Jeb has to save himself in New Hampshire, finishing ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, if he wants to remain a viable candidate heading into the South Carolina primary. Then and only then will the time come to deploy the nation’s 43rd president, who famously lost the 2000 New Hampshire primary by 19 points to John McCain but then came back for a campaign-saving victory in the Palmetto State.
Easier said than done
Whether he will make it that far is another issue entirely. His path lies in emerging the most viable establishment alternative candidate to Donald Trump and Ted Cruze. Can he play it close enough to reap the benefits of being a close front runner in early states then spring in the more Bush friendly later states?
Right now he is grappling with the prospect of a debilitating letdown on Tuesday that at this point seems more probable than not, and the candidate himself remains unable to escape the symbolism of doom.
Donald Trump – Republican front running critically needs to win New Hampshire primaries
Photo credit ballotpedia
The truth is that in today’s nuance-free campaign environment, amply potrayed by other candidates like Trump, Cruz Rubio, Christie, Fiorina, that appears to be resonating with Republican primary voters, as Bush’s nuanced, meassured campaign style appears like a relic to a more genteel era in comparison.
Still, New Hampshire voters have surprised us many, many times before. Bush has a strong ground game in place here, and his loyal campaign advisers are intent on pulling out all of the stops before Tuesday’s primary.
Desperation can be a useful tool in presidential politics. And there is no doubt that Jeb Bush is desperate.
The entire Bush clan – mama Bush, brother W are out in full force on the campaign trail in New hampshire. Will they be able to pull the proverbial chestnut of the fire? Guess we will find out by late Monday night.