Journalists I’ve spoken with who’ve interviewed Jeb say Bush comes across as resentful and bitter about this state of affairs. But if he aspires to any sort of political future, he could do himself a favor by just stepping out of the race now. What’s more, he could — as Roger Simon suggests — call for Hillary Clinton to drop out too, in light of her email and FBI problems. Writes Simon: “He will have the bully pulpit for that brief moment when he drops out and he can use it to tell the truth. America doesn’t need another Bush, and it certainly doesn’t need another Clinton, particularly one under the shadow of indictment.”
True enough, though I doubt Bush will take this advice. I expect him to play this out to the bitter end, and certainly the consultants will encourage that because they don’t get paid once he’s out.
But there’s another bright spot. Jeb’s trump card was supposed to be the money. He raised a lot of money, and he has spent a lot of money. But it didn’t help. And that undercuts all the money-in-politics talk we’ve been hearing for years.
Concerns about the impact of money on politics assume that if you buy enough ads, you can elect anybody. If that were true, Jeb would be the front-runner. Instead, he’s running way behind other candidates who, in different ways, have done a better job of addressing voters’ concerns.