Jeb Can Fix It: Jeb Bush
Alas, maligned legacy kid Jeb Bush is no longer with us. He’s still alive, of course, but dead to me because he made me cut this series short by two parts. He’s lost whatever spark he had to keep going – in fact, he absentmindedly stood on his front porch this morning, taking questions about how well he slept and what he was having for breakfast from a crowd of phantom reporters. He even drunk called his campaign manager late last night wondering if he could change his campaign slogan one more time to an interrobang to read “Jeb?!”. But in the end, he proved himself to be the worst Bush – admittedly, a pretty bad thing to be the worst at. His wife reassured him against the thought last night as he struggled to get hard for the first time in months, which for her was probably a welcome change from his tendency to pull out (of, you know, the campaign) too late. He’s no longer the frontrunner he was back then, and does not have the will to run our hearts or our tear ducts. He dropped faster in the polls than Snoop Dogg drops something that’s hot, all while displaying that face that makes it oh so hard to be mad at him.
In his final days, Jeb didn’t go down quietly. He took off the glasses – something that’s known in political circles as the anti-Rick-Perry-effect – and brought out his sainted mother who gave a ringing endorsement of one of her “four favorite sons.” (He tried it with his wife, but she’s a little too Latina – closer to the Consuela end of the spectrum than the Rubio one) And yet, he couldn’t fix the Hindenburg-crashing-into-the-Titanic type vibe his campaign had. But now that he has a little more time to think – as he contributes to that unemployment rate that he so despises – I’m confident that the once and future president can run the old fixer-upper one more time.
Jeb’s Diagnosis: “Immigrants are more fertile.”
Wait, what? Sorry, he was still thinking about his wife. Let’s try again.
Jeb’s Re-Diagnosis: “I’m a skeptic, not a scientist.”
And Jeb’s right. He may not have been able to fix Major League Baseball (apparently a 36-year old can command $150 million), Facebook (those ridiculous ‘react’ things went into effect last week), or millennials (seriously, how is this fit to be published?), but that’s because he’s a skeptic. I’m a scientist, and it’s time to go all Olivia Pope on the man himself.
2020 – Jeb knows to keep his eyes on that elusive mistress of the presidency. He may not be as vocal about it as Howard Dean was a little over a decade ago, but he was so very focused on states like California and New York, which is why he sucked so badly in Iowa and New Hampshire. Jeb now has experience dealing with an egotistical moneymaking genius in Donald Trump, which will serve him exceptionally well when he faces off against Kanye West in the general. This offers the interesting side-plot of quotables: someone digging up Jeb’s promise to do “probably nothing” for black people in 1999, compared with Kanye’s now-iconic “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Sure, four years may seem like a long wait, but people will be talking about 2020 as soon as February 2017.
Money – Sure, Jeb has thrown $130 million at a failed presidential run that amounted to nothing, which is less useful than throwing money at strippers (sure, it does nothing for you but it’s helping some very nice young women get through college), a result that has likely resulted in the Koch-Adelson triumvirate putting a bounty on his head. Some have even compared his campaign expenditures to a Joker plan gone wrong, suggesting that it would have been better served lighting that money on fire; coincidentally the only warmth Jeb has experienced for the better part of a year. But his family is almost as dynastic as the Targaryens, and they can always sell off some of the WMDs they found in Iraq to scrape together a little extra cash – possibly from willing buyer and future Bond villain Donald Trump.
Name Recognition – John Ellis Bush smartly chose the sexier moniker of “Jeb” to go by, since he probably thought a common name wouldn’t cut it after a guy named “Barack” (though the field contains names like Ted, Ben, Jake, Donald, Bob, Rick, Connor, Scott, and Mike; I only made two of those up). It also retrospectively gives his exclamation point a little more credibility, since it give him a way to shout his name instead of using the slightly intimidating acronym “JEB.” He knows the importance of names, which he demonstrated when he called President Obama’s daughter “Malala” instead of “Malia” – in his defense, he was recovering from last night’s wet dream about the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Tease – Over the past few years, Jeb had what was termed a ‘Mitt Romney Problem,’ where he gave us all red balls about entering the race. He even kind of hinted that he was going to drop out, but still went through the trouble of taking a Kobe Bryant-esque farewell tour while putting up horrible statistics and having attention stolen from him by short expectations and whatever wonk-a-thons are (perhaps he was referring to wank-a-thons in preparation for the California primary). Ah, such a tease you are, Mr. Bush.
Jeb’s Diagnosis: “That’s what she said.”
Ugh. He’s going to blow it.
Jeb’s Re-Diagnosis: “That’s what she said, and I guess we should at least thank her for the warning.”