February 17, 2016   |   Claire Bernish
February 17, 2016
(ANTIMEDIA) Poor Jeb! Well, no, not really. But watching the awkward implosion of Jeb! Bush’s presidential campaign rouses embarrassment similar to that generated while rubbernecking a car crash — though a better analogy in this case might be watching a cruise ship on fire, sinking in the high seas, without any lifeboats. Or life preservers.
On Tuesday, skewering of the only candidate in history to ever seek a trademark punctuational addition to his name reached a fever pitch when the Twitterverse pounced on his epic, single word gaffe.
Though Jeb!’s intent remains murky, it appears the word — tweeted under an image of the former Florida governor’s name-inscribed handgun — might have been an attempt to embody Americana at its finest. Or maybe he sought solidarity with gun owners. Or perhaps it was a shot at patriotism (pun intended). Some were concerned at the possible suicidal overtones. But because the reasoning behind the tweet remained obscure — and because it unintentionally parodied everything ‘Murica with a single word — side-splitting responses ensued. Edward Snowden deadpanned, “Delete your account.”
New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait implored, “I know your campaign has not worked out so far, @JebBush, but you have a lot to live for.”
Journalist Glenn Greenwald mused, “Ponder all the psychological anxieties and insecurities that would cause someone to post this.”
Mashable upped the game, leaving the post unaltered except for a brilliant photoshop editing of the gun’s “Gov. Jeb Bush” inscription, to read: “Please clap” — an unabashed reference to an impassioned talk Bush delivered, but for which he was forced to plead with the disinterested attendees for applause.
Countless responses lambasted, mocked, and occasionally worried over Jeb!’s inexplicable post, but the distinct takeaway from the blunder was the campaign’s direction. However thoroughly cash-imbued it may be, money cannot stop a train wreck in motion.
Jeb! did not lend any (non-comedic) relief to his situation during a town hall meeting in South Carolina when, after Senator Lindsey Graham amiably asked the crowd, “How many of you are Democrats?” — Bush’s hand immediately shot up. After scanning the audience and realizing his head-scratching blunder could not be undone, he hastily lowered his arm with a freakishly timid smile.
Despite the inarguably bloodthirsty Bush bloodline, Jeb!’s attempts to distance himself from the family dynasty have instead resulted in a lackluster showing punctuated by doltish bungles — which has endeared him to many, not as a serious contender, but, rather, as a peculiar parody of bottomless spending gone awry.
So far, Bush’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination has shelled out phenomenal sums per vote, with virtually nothing to show for it. In the Iowa caucuses, for example, Jeb! — independent of his Super PAC — spent over $5,000 for each vote he received, according to calculations by the Washington Post, ultimately securing a sixth-place finish. Then, in New Hampshire, together with his Super PAC Right to Rise, the Jeb! campaign, according to the Huffington Post, coughed up $1,150 per vote — landing a slightly improved fourth place slot.
In the latest Quinnipiac survey, released Wednesday, Jeb!’s bottom-of-the-heap showing makes readily apparent that even an obscenely overstuffed wallet cannot atone for the mounting pratfalls, miscues, and general bumblings he seems unable to avoid.
Perhaps Jeb!’s inchoate skittishness, however detrimental to his presidential bid, could best be explained by his mom — who oddly joined him in an interview earlier this month:
“He’s almost too polite. I don’t advise him, but if I gave him advice I would say why don’t you interrupt like other people do?”
Then again, with gaffes like these already trailing in his wake, rude is likely an avenue Jeb! would do best to avoid.
This article (Jeb! Bush’s Presidential Campaign Is Imploding in the Most Hilarious Way Possible) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Gage Skidmore. If you spot a typo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.