Monday, February 22, 2016

I've Never Seen Anything Like It: Trump's Blitz of Bush

Donald Trump surveyed the Republican field back in June. He correctly surmised that the only candidate who provided a real threat was Jeb Bush. Trump's strategy was to hit Bush early and hit him hard before the juggernaut that elected his father and brother could even get started. The strategy consisted of:

  1. making Jeb look weak and ineffectual.  At one point in a debate he seemed to be almost shaking with fear. Even in this day of beta-males, that's not good if you're running for leader of the free world.
  2. making a case to Republican voters that the Bush I and II years were not good years after all, including the super-daring casting of the second Iraq war as a destabilizing venture that was based on lies ("Anybody can make a mistake. But that was a beauty," Trump said in his inimitable New York way.)
  3. harping on the amount of Other People's Money Jeb was spending, amounting to $2,592 per vote vs. Trump's $87 per vote (of his own money). 
  4. making Bush appear to be a creature of lobbyists ("Listen to the lobbyists," Trump would exclaim upon being booed in a debate). 

The strategy worked monumentally. Bush barely ever crossed out of single-digits in polls or in results.  Jeb pulled out Saturday, after just the third of 50 state primaries.

I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime of watching politics.

Unless another generation of Bush politicians comes along some day, it brings a sad ending to the Bush family political legacy that started with Senator Prescott Bush in 1950.

No comments:

Post a Comment