Opinions

Jeb? The decline of the Bush empire.

He was the one groomed to be president. When he was younger, he volunteered for his father’s campaigns in 1980 and 1988, and in 1987 he became the Secretary of Commerce of Florida.  Then in 1999, he was elected as Governor of Florida, which was the perfect set up. Jeb would show that he was able to lead a diverse state with about the same number of Democrats as Republicans. If he was able to get re-elected, he would also show that he had the ability to win a general election because he would be able to defend his record.a8399a80-f506-0132-44e4-0a2ca390b4471

The future looked bright for Jeb, but then his brother got elected President. George W. Bush just barely won the presidency, and it came down to Florida, Jeb’s state. His older brother became President and proceeded to say things like, “It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it,” as well as the quote from the start of the movie Step Brothers: “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” Meanwhile, Jeb was in Florida, cutting spending, balancing the budget, restoring the Everglades and building up his resume. But in the end, his accomplishments wouldn’t really matter.

And so Jeb got Florida, and George got the world.

Fifteen years later, Jeb was ready to run for President. When he declared, he was automatically branded as the front-runner due to his name recognition. However, the name that would help him get donors would also prove to be his biggest problem in the attempt for the nomination. He would have to either stand up for his brother’s decisions as President or create his own path as a different candidate. His Super PAC (political action committee), Right to Rise, was ready to get him the nomination, and it looked like he would get it, even though the field of Republicans was growing to the largest it has ever been.

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Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Photo Credit: TalkingPointsMemo.com / AP Photo

It turned out that it wasn’t his name that was the problem; it was another name. That name was Donald J. Trump. Trump became the schoolyard bully, and Jeb was the tiny weakling who got his lunch money stolen everyday. Trump called him “low energy” and “an embarrassment to the family.” Jeb tried to fight back, but Donald just kept bullying him on the debate stage and on the campaign trail. Jeb fell fast from his front-runner position, and Donald took control of the election.

He hoped that the solution to his problem was money, the thing that solves all problems. Jeb spent $15 million in Iowa and $31 million in New Hampshire.  He ran attack ads against Marco Rubio and Donald Trump in hopes that he could steal some of their voters.  The plan seemed to work against Rubio in New Hampshire as Jeb just barely beat him, but it probably had more to do with Rubio’s lackluster performance in the recent debate.  Donald kept on going and soundly won New Hampshire. Money couldn’t buy him this election, but it could keep him alive.

Jeb was once a front-runner candidate but now is struggling to stay alive in the race. Even though he finished fourth in New Hampshire, Marco Rubio wasn’t too far behind. Bush’s problem this year is still Trump, the loud-mouthed candidate who puts down anyone who comes near him. Also, Jeb Bush is part of the past, and voters do not want the same policies that have been in place and brought the country to where it is today. The electorate wants a change in the type of person for President, which is why Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio are doing so well. People like Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee are old politicians, too predicable with their policies.

It appears that Jeb’s time is at an end. The once famous JEB! campaign slogan now seems weak and old. Even though his father was President and his brother was too, it seems that Jeb will never get to ascend to the same title. Four years ago, Jeb might have had the charisma and policy to get him elected, but after seven years of Obama’s policies, that’s not what the Republican base wants. The game of politics has changed this year, and Jeb is on the losing side.

Interestingly enough, Jeb is not his real name. His real name is John Ellis Bush. But nobody will ever call him John Bush, just like we’ll never call him President of the United States.

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