The Republican Clown Car is down to five occupants after Bush scion Jeb! finished in a disastrous fourth and suspended his campaign.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) suspended his campaign Saturday after a disappointing finish in the South Carolina primary, ending a dismal presidential bid that was built to “shock and awe” his opponents but barely made them flinch.
“I am proud of the campaign we have run to unify our country. To advocate conservative solutions that would give more Americans the opportunity to rise up and reach their God-given potential,” Bush said, choking back emotion. “But the people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I respect the decision, so tonight I’m suspending my campaign. I congratulate my competitors that are remaining on the island on their success, for a race that has been hard-fought.”
Bush, 63, entered the 2016 race as the presumed favorite for the Republican nomination last summer with a $103 million head start, thanks to his record-shattering fundraising spree during the first half of 2015.
His fall from frontrunner to afterthought has been as steady as it has been dramatic. His establishment pedigree and famous last name ultimately proved detrimental to his bid, as rank-and-file GOP primary voters in the mood for a much different kind of presidential standard-bearer could not find much to like about one whose father and brother both previously called the White House home.
At Esquire Politics, Charlie Pierce wrote Jeb1’s political obituary:
So, for the last time as a presidential candidate in his life, John Ellis Bush disappeared behind a black curtain, stage right. Nothing so much became his campaign as the way he ended it—in a sparsely filled hotel ballroom, with a gentle shrug of the shoulders and exhaling a soft cloud of defeated banalities. He was the wrong candidate in the wrong place in the wrong year. Of course, so were Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, and Carly Fiorina. But nobody was more the wrong candidate in the wrong place in the wrong year than was Jeb (!) Bush, who was born to be the primary punching bag for a violently unsettled political time and for its principal embodiment, a vulgar talking yam with a supreme instinct for the zeitgeist. He was perfectly cast for that role, and he played it almost perfectly, his lost campaign perfectly encapsulated by a sad moment two weeks ago.
It was a town hall in New Hampshire, and Bush was pitching himself as a formidable commander-in-chief. (The event was ill-omened from the start. The lights kept going out in the hall.) He came rounding into his peroration. The crowd sat there, very politely.
I won’t be out there blowharding, talking a big game without backing it up. I think the next president needs to be a lot quieter, but send a signal that we’re prepared to act in the national security interests of this country, to get back in the business of creating a more peaceful world.
(Deep breath. Is this an audience or an oil painting?)
He spent gobs of money. He hired all the best people. He had the name and the pedigree. And every one of those conventional credentials were turned against him as vehicles for mockery and derision by He, Trump, the wild-card for whom nobody had planned. Trump mocked Bush’s spending for its lack of results. Trump mocked Bush’s campaign for its lack of results. Trump mocked Bush himself for being low-energy, and for his lack of results. Meanwhile, Bush and his campaign worked day and night to lend obvious substance to every charge levelled by He, Trump.
He should have dropped out right at that moment.
(Do not make the mistake of thinking that I sympathize in any way with the sad political destruction of Jeb (!) Bush—except, of course, in the sense that it makes the presidency of He, Trump more of a possibility—because I still remember how, out of raw political ambition, he made the lives of a lot of good people miserable. Fuckabuncha him forever for having done that.)
The rest of the article is scathing and the link to the Terry Schiavo debacle that made the lives of a lot of really good people hell is a long but must read. Here’s hoping that this is the last we ever hear of the Bush crime family.