Saturday, February 20, 2016

Jeb Bush: What went wrong?

I remember when I first saw a minute of one of Jeb Bush's speeches last year, before any of the debates, I instantly sensed that he didn't have what it takes. He stumbled over practically every sentence as if he were reading the text for the first time. I instinctively turned off the speech — it isn't fun to watch someone who seems uncomfortable and forced.

There's a reason Obama, as a candidate in 2008, got so much acclaim for his soaring speeches. No matter what you think of Obama, you can't deny the political reality that his oratorical talents mattered.

While live-blogging the last Republican debate, I wrote: "Bush says America has to get more aggressive against terrorism — but he sounds lackluster when he says this. That's Bush's problem: his style doesn't match his substance. For instance, he's called himself a 'disrupter' — but he seems as conventional as anyone."

I always found it hard to imagine anyone was supporting Bush out of genuine enthusiasm rather than grudging duty. Bush may have earned the respect of many while generating excitement among no one.


rcocean said...

Here's a question. Why didn't Bush run in 2008 or 2012 if he was such hot stuff? He stopped being Florida Governor in Jan 2007. What was he doing for over 8 years from 2007-2015?

He didn't even run for Senator during that time. just more evidence that he was a reluctant candidate.