The Unthinkable


Bob Stannard

Anyone who has ever held elective office or spent any time in politics knows that it's a very tough job. It's tougher for some than for others. It's hard to imagine that a few months ago the institutional candidate, Jeb Bush; the one deemed most likely to win the Republican Primary, is now generating buzz about calling it quits.

Prior to announcing that he would stand for election to be President of the United States of America, Jeb (which stands for John Ellis Bush) Bush went around the country meeting with top 1% of our nation's richest people asking them to give money to his SuperPac. Thanks to our new law of the land, Citizens United, a candidate can play this wink and nod game. He/she can grovel for big money for a SuperPac before they declare their candidacy and it's perfectly legal.

There was never any doubt (well perhaps Jeb's mom had some reservations) that John Ellis Bush Bush would be a candidate for president. Why else would he raise one hundred million dollars from his very rich friends? Sadly, this effort may be for naught. In addition to the big money for his SuperPac it was understood that there would be funds to run his campaign. That's not happening.

Jeb is not George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush. Jeb has not really set the world on fire and his performance in three Republican debates has been, to be kind, less than stellar. He failed to take down Sen. Marco Rubio on Rubio's dismal performance in the Senate; a task that should've been easier than Jeb made it seem.

Rubio ate Jeb's lunch in the last debate and as a result of his quickness on his feet (in spite of the fact that he dodged the question and wasn't terribly factual) has now been anointed by billionaire, Paul Singer. Jeb was counting on Singer's support and now finds himself in a tougher spot than he was in just a week ago. His money is drying up. He's had to cut staff, and of course salaries. In doing so he put the best face on it he could by saying he's showing leadership.

Here's what an unidentified supporter had to say; "I trust the campaign. I just don't know about the voters. It's like the more Jeb is out there, the less well he does."

Jeb comes across as though he's not comfortable in his own skin. One gets the sense that he's doing this to fulfill some sort of family destiny, but doesn't possess any of the skills necessary to pull it off. We don't get the sense that his heart is really in this. Donald Trump was right when he said that Jeb lacks energy.

Unless something amazing happens with his campaign; for instance the top five candidates unexpectedly all decide to go home, it's only a matter of time before Jeb throws in the towel. His candidacy was all but a foregone conclusion. Of course he was going to be president. He's a Bush and hails from one of the most politically connected families in the country. It was a given that he'd be our next president; until the new radical Republicans started to get a good look at him.

They are now turning their attention to a young Senator with questionable judgement. When he was Speaker in Florida Marco Rubio racked up $16,000 of debt on the party's credit card for personal items. He's admitted that was a mistake, which was nice. We'll miss Jeb when reality comes crashing down around him and he's forced to withdraw from the race, but not to worry. We'll have a young man who can incur debt just as fast as anyone as long as it's on someone else's credit card.

There should be no doubt that when the dust settles Marco Rubio will be their man.

Bob Stannard is a resident of Manchester.


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