Call it low-energy or blame the lack of support from his mother, but from day one every aspect of Bush’s campaign not directly related to fundraising has been unimpressive. Bush has struggled mightily with incredibly banal questions about dynastic politics and his brother’s invasion of Iraq, while his arguments in favor of immigration reform have been so weak that the entire nominating contest has been dominated by Trump’s racist demagoguery.
Bush is also literally the only person on the planet earth who will be utterly incapable of tapping into a sense that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is a bit of a tired retread.
Marco Rubio, by contrast, is a dynamic public speaker and gutsy political risk-taker (recall that he got to the Senate by beating a sitting governor in a primary) who impresses staffers on both sides of the aisle who’ve worked with him. Rubio performs better than Bush in head-to-head polling against Clinton.
And, crucially, Rubio has the exact same policy positions as Bush — very conservative views on abortion and foreign policy, a shared passion for deficit-increasing tax cuts, and a moderate stance on immigration. Bush was something of a political mentor to Rubio back in Florida, and had Jeb announced a year ago that he simply lacked the fire in the belly for a presidential campaign and endorsed Rubio as a political ally and ideological fellow-traveler nobody would have been shocked.