The PJ Tatler

Trouble in Jeb-Land

First Hillary!’s “relaunch” of a doomed candidacy and now this:

Former Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign is in trouble. This week alone, it has sustained a top-level campaign shake-up and reports have circulated that it may fall short of its fundraising goal. But a review of the public record shows it already fell way short of its fundraising goal, and has been behind predictions for months. Not by a few million dollars, either, but by as much as $400 million — or 80 percent as the most optimistic predictions Bush loyalists have circulated.

All of this — campaign shuffles and fundraising shortfalls — before Mr. Bush has even declared his candidacy. What happened?

Off the top of my head, I would says that when you combine a candidate with all the excitement of soggy oatmeal with a family name that the nation is heartily sick off, this is what you get. Despite the media’s insistence that Hillary! and Jeb are the front-runners, it’s important to keep in mind that most of the people in the media are complete idiots who confuse name recognition (the result of the media constantly force-feeding the names of Clinton and Bush to the public) with popularity or, worse, accomplishment.

Bush apparently thought he could raised $100 million in the first three months of his still-unofficial campaign, but both the number and the time period have been steadily revised since January.

Conservatives, meanwhile, should consider Mr. Bush’s campaign the most flagrant and serious primary-election attack on their tenuous grip on national power since former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller 50 years ago. And any scoffing at the campaign not pulling in as many hundreds of millions as predicted will very likely cease when even a fraction of that cash starts raining down on their heads.

Mr. Bush is a major player in the Republican field, but as the frequent gaffes and missteps of his rollout have illustrated, his operation is rusty at best. Even in its fundraising — an assumed strength he used to clear the field of moderate opposition — the early campaign has made the basic mistake of overpromising and underdelivering. Mr. Bush is formidable, but he is not the giant he would have conservatives believe. And he is not inevitable.

He’s only “inevitable” if we let him be. Should the choice next year be between a Clinton and a Bush, there’s really not much point in continuing the American experiment any longer, is there?