It was once said of Winston Churchill that he was a man with a brilliant future behind him. One could say the same about Jeb Bush — the once promising and conservative governor of Florida — who now risks tarnishing his reputation if he continues to run an embarrassing campaign. Churchill surprised everyone with his comeback, but the odds of Jeb getting the soufflé to rise twice are long.
Jeb, it seems, missed his window. He might have been the perfect candidate for 1998, but fate intervened. Windows of opportunity close. The world changes. It’s true in the world of entertainment; Bruce Springsteen is still great, but could he write “Born to Run” today? Probably not.
In politics, you’ve got to seize the day — which is why Barack Obama ran in 2008. Lightning rarely strikes twice — which is why Chris Christie should’ve run in 2012.
Yogi Berra once famously said something to the effect of: “If people don’t want to come out to the ball park, nobody’s gonna stop ’em.” Bush has the same fundamental problem: If nobody wants to vote for you, there’s nothing you can do to stop them. No amount of money can change the fact that Bush doesn’t seem to have a base of support. Aside from people being paid by him, I don’t know many enthusiastic Bush supporters.
At this point, it seems the likelihood of Bush a) tarnishing his reputation and b) inadvertently helping Donald Trump win the GOP nomination greatly exceeds the chance that he could turn things around. His body language betrays a guy who doesn’t really want to do what it takes to win today — and who is out of step with the current Republican Party.
Bush’s low point came when he tried to attack [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore], and was immediately slapped down. If last night really was a “do or die” moment for his campaign, then it’s time for the Bush family to begin making “arrangements.”
One gets the sense that he wants to cry “No Mas,” but accepting defeat might not be part of the entitled Bush D.N.A. The danger is that he might decide that it’s easier to attack Rubio via TV ads than in person, and that would be a shame.
Thoughtful conservatives, if they are to stop Donald Trump and Ben Carson, must — at some point — coalesce around an alternative. Marco Rubio seems the most likely choice. Unless Jeb Bush destroys him.
Does Bush really want that to be his legacy?