Despite seeming like a lifetime has gone by, it really hasn’t been very long since the 2016 election. For some opponents of Trump, the loss still stings—not least so for Jeb Bush. Bush expected to have a much more contentious run for president, following in the footsteps of his father and brother. However, on the campaign trail, he came across as unexcited, with no real energy behind his campaign.
In fact, Trump coined a nickname for Bush that unfortunately stuck, helping damage Bush’s image during a Republican primary that devolved to which candidate had the bigger “hands.”
“Low Energy Jeb” became the defining perception of his brand, and a tired “please clap” became the defining moment of his sad attempt at the presidency.
Jeb! hasn’t forgotten a single moment of his humiliation:
Plus, like many old guard Republicans, is horrified at Donald Trump’s unmasking of the Republican Party. In recent comments at a Yale talk, he came after Trump pretty hard. Here’s more from Yale Daily News:
‘“I’m not going to talk about the 2016 election,” Bush joked on Tuesday in a talk sponsored by the The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale. “I’m still in therapy.”
‘But that didn’t stop him from taking shots at President Donald Trump, his opponent in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. At one point, Bush said that, unlike Trump, he returns home every day to his children “who actually love me.”’
Yeah, he went there. “Your children don’t love you” is a little bit harsher than “Donald Trump is a jerk!”
Something must have put some serious pep in his step this morning, because that’s not the Jeb! we’ve all come to know and forget about.
‘During the talk, Bush offered a variety of suggestions for revitalizing American conservatism. He emphasized the need for an embrace of bottom-up economics, a return to belief in fiscal responsibility, economically efficient immigration reform and limited government.
‘“The 21st-century conservative agenda cannot be nostalgic about the past,” Bush said.
‘Instead, he emphasized the need to create a plan that accounts for the proliferation of technology, increasing globalization and a more competitive world.
‘Despite his Trump barbs, at the talk, Bush called for more polite political discourse, citing William Buckley Jr.’s ’50 style of rhetoric. Bush recalled watching Buckley’s famous television program, Firing Line, and admiring Buckley’s respect for the opposition, his wit and his hopeful optimism.’
Well, good luck with that, Jeb. While all of that sounds very optimistic, the Republican Party is no longer as fractured as he seems to believe. The Republicans that don’t like what politics has become are fleeing the party in droves, and as for Jeb’s brand and his hopes for the future of conservatism in America—that battle has already been fought at lost. Jeb Bush took almost no votes in the primary, dropping out early after finishing fourth in South Carolina. His campaign was short and irrelevant, only made notable by his pedigree.
If this gets in front of Trump, we can at least look forward to his inevitable outburst on Twitter about it.
Featured image via Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images