February 21

Too Soon for Another Bush?

South Carolina was his chance. After weeks of trailing in the polls, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush saw his numbers continue to drop. When he first entered the primary race, Washington kind of sighed, noting that this would be a boring race. Clinton Bush for a second time in a row? It seemed like this rock solid candidate from a powerhouse family did not even need to try.

And donors thought so too. Bush had so much support from big buck Republicans that Mitt Romney decided to not run again. It seemed like such a sure thing, that Romney looked at the situation, and thought it was not worth the effort. There was not a doubt that he could lose. He was moderate, had a good track record, a plan for the economy, and a Mexican wife. The only issue his strategists had to skirt around in the primary, was his view on Common Core.

Then, Donald Trump entered the race, and everything turned upside down. Those who did not want another Bush, finally found a voice, and they started to scream as loud as they could. This created a domino effect. Bush was backed into a corner, the first one on the race to really be attacked. Trump and Bush went head to head on the debate stage. Trump was used to those kind of confrontations, Bush was not. He was labeled as low energy, he was tripped, and it seems like he could not get back up.

So, South Carolina was his last chance. He brought in his brother, President George W. Bush, who is popular in the state. Energy returned to his campaign, and a good finish in South Carolina could propel him back to that second place spot, and eventually back to first.

But it seems like he did not have enough time in the state, as primaries fall on top of each other. Or, it seems like Trump is resonating with more Republicans than predicted. But in any case, tonight, Governor Bush suspended his campaign.  Bush had the record, he had the money, he had the team, he had the plan; but, what he did not have was the timing. Many Republicans think it is too soon for another Bush in the White House. They want fresh blood, not the old guard.

While Bush suspended his campaign tonight, you can expect him to be back. He will be licking his wounds, and will have four years to look at what he did wrong in those early months, and why he failed to communicate his message to his voters. From a family that is not used to losing, we may see Bush again. The question is, will he learn from his campaign mistakes, so he can actually take it all the way?