The problem of course, is that short of being the last man standing, Jeb cannot- and will not- be the nominee. But until he figured that out for himself, the R2R machine marches ever forward. Jeb’s path, such as it is, is to be the last man standing, and the only way to facilitate that is by snuffing out the competition, one by one.
So don’t blame Mike Murphy’s Super PAC strategy for Jeb’s troubles. Indulging this narrative merely insulates Jeb from the reality of this race and the consequences of his continued lurch toward electoral doom. Jeb needs to understand that the only person who can stop this train is him. He can’t fire Murphy- he can only fire himself.
If there’s anything to be critical about in hindsight, it’s the original, pre-firewall conception of Jeb’s campaign. The flawed conceit of his candidacy was that Bush Legacy x Wonkish Technocrat + $100 million= 2016 GOP nomination. Now that might have been a can’t-miss formula for success circa 2006, but a decade later it appeared shaky to anyone who looked closely.
So put away the pitchforks and let Murphy do his job.