Jeb Bush Assures Supporters He's Not Nearly As Pathetic As He Looks Right Now
Can we fix it? No, it's fucked.
[contextly_sidebar id="bGr6FJCP1OcSddWTQyav7TB8YbJJHpkR"]Jeb Bush is not having a great day. That's a really good lede, since we can run it pretty much any day of the week. But if you want to get into specifics and all that Edward R. Murrow crap, Jeb's not having a great Tuesday. Not that Monday was any bed of roses either. It's not that he's stumbled into any big scandal or anything; Jeb frankly doesn't seem capable of anything that interesting. Rather, the week simply started off with a parade of little moments that make you shake your head and say, "Oh, that Jeb."
First, Jeb had to admit Monday that he'd fibbed about receiving a nonexistent award from the National Rifle Association. Then Tuesday, within the space of a single appearance on the teevee, he had to explain that he wasn't nearly as weak a candidate as Mitt Romney thought he was, and in the process, casually insulted Saint Ronald Reagan. We're expecting him to end the day with a campaign meet-n-greet where a baby piddles on his tie.
For starters, let's see how Jeb embarrassed himself by bragging about how much the NRA loves him. In stump speeches, Bush has talked up the time he was personally handed a very important artifact from the star of Planet of The Apes:
“You know who you’re lookin’ at here? You’re looking at the guy who won the NRA Statesman of the Year Award,” Bush said last month at a town hall in Milford, N.H. “Not the Florida award. The national award. And I got a rifle from Charlton Heston, I got a rifle from Moses.”
Just a few problems there: The NRA doesn't have any such award as "statesman of the year" at either the state or national level. And while Jeb did receive a flintlock rifle from the group when he was keynote speaker for its 2003 convention in Orlando, you might notice in the photo up there that it wasn't handed to him by Moses, or Ben Hur, or even by the guy who screamed that Soylent Green is people. Bush campaign communications director Tim Miller explained in a statement how Jeb got stuff all turned around in his head:
“In recounting the story, Jeb was mistaken and conflated multiple events unintentionally ... Heston met with Jeb at that NRA convention and was the head of the NRA at the time, but it was Kayne Robinson” — who succeeded Heston as NRA president — “who presented Jeb with the rifle for being keynote speaker.”
Heston did endorse Bush for re-election in 2002, and Jeb and the NRA are really tight friends. So yeah, innocent mistake, and even if the Supreme Court hadn't struck down the "Stolen Valor" law, it doesn't quite rise to the level of a big whopping lie. It's just Jeb stepping on his powder horn again.
Then on Tuesday, the Jebster gave his side of a slightly embarrassing story told about him by Mitt Romney. It seems that when Romney met with Bush back in January of last year, Mitt was pretty excited about the prospect of maybe running for president again, and hinted that maybe Jeb had too much family baggage to win the Republican nomination. The Washington Post reported Mittens' recollection of the meeting Sunday:
Romney told Bush about the private polls that showed him performing well in the early voting states. “It’s opened up a door that I didn’t think would be open to me,” he recalled telling Bush.
Romney also said he confronted Bush with his fears about his candidacy: “Jeb, to be very honest, I think it’s very hard for you to post up against Hillary Clinton and to separate yourself from the difficulty of the W. years and compare them with the Clinton years.” He said Bush responded by saying that “he was going to make his campaign about the future, not about the past.”
“I didn’t say anything at that point,” Romney recalled. “But as he left, I said to myself, ‘Gosh, in my opinion, it’s not going to be as easy to make that separation as I think he gives the impression it will be.’ One of the few things I predicted that turned out to be true.”
What we love about that anecdote is that it makes both of them look kind of pathetic, like a couple of little yappy dogs sizing each other up, growling a bit, and then strutting away feeling like Lupo, King of the Wolves.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday, Bush argued forcefully -- drumroll please -- Republican voters should not be swayed by Mitt Romney's low expectations of him:
"I think you need to make the case that I could beat Hillary Clinton," he said. "The conversation with Mitt Romney brought back, you know — a private conversation — brought back how I would have answered that. Which is, I have a proven record, you cannot beat Hillary Clinton, who has no record or a record of failure, with someone who doesn’t have a record at all. And that was the case I made to Mitt. That’s the case I made to you all and to people here in New Hampshire. I have a proven record, a conservative record that brings people toward our cause rather than push them away."
If that doesn't get your blood pumping, we don't know what would. Perhaps a sip of coffee. While he was making his case that he could overcome the burden of having disappointed Mitt Romney, Bush also Jebsplained -- again -- that his family name isn't a problem for him, because when it comes to Republican presidents, there's nobody the GOP loves more than good old George W (skip to about 3:05 in the video):
My brother, if you did the polling and actually looked at it -- he’s probably the most popular president amongst Republicans in this country. So, the whole idea that somehow he’s a burden -- any mistakes I make, they're my own ... I’m honored to be part of that family, I love 'em dearly. All the psychobabble that goes along with it, I’ve gotten over it. You guys can meditate on your navels about that -- I’m not.
Dubya probably is the most popular president amongst Republicans, especially if you're his little brother. He's way bigger than Gerald Ford, that's for sure, and probably Jeb's one-term daddy. We can't help but think there might be another more popular Republican president Jeb forgot, like maybe that one cowboy actor guy who has all the airports, streets, aircraft carriers, and memorial spittoons named after him. It remains to be seen whether Bush's blasphemy against Saint Ron will hurt his campaign -- for one thing, how could anyone tell? -- but at least he can be satisfied that he's fended off that stinging Romney criticism.
Following his appearance on Morning Joe, Jeb confidently left the studio and barked at a mailman.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.