January 23, 2016

There's just so much wrong with this:

Jeb Bush is trying to revive an ailing campaign with a new advertisement push in the state featuring a very special guest...his mother.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush, in a web-video entitled "A Message From Barbara Bush" attempts to sway voters, as only she can, praising him as "a wonderful son" whose "heart is big.

"When push comes to shove, people are going to realize Jeb has real solutions. Rather than talking about how popular they are, how great they are, he's doing it because he sees a huge need and it's not being filled by anybody," she says in the video, seemingly taking a dig at frontrunner Donald Trump. "Of all the people running, he seems to be the one who can solve the problems. I think he'll be a great president.”

Billmon points out one obvious problem:

I mean, really? The candidate you're trying to remove from the throne is seen as a snarling tough guy, and your idea of a counterattack is an ad featuring your mom? And even she can't seem to say anything in your favor except platitudes and vague generalities?

And what's with this?

Of all the people running, he seems to be the one who can solve the problems.

Seems to be? That's the best you can get, Jeb, out of your own mother?

There isn't a single word or image in this ad that conveys a sense of strength. You don't have to act like a Trump-style bully -- if you're Jeb, you just need to make it seem as if you're the quiet but unwavering dad who won't let the family down. You need to make it seem as if you'll keep America safe. Maybe that's not enough this year, but it's worked in the past -- when Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ran, they conveyed a sense that they had reserves of strength, even as they were being abused and derided by Republicans doing unsubtle penis-sheath dances.

Jeb's not going to out-macho Trump, so this approach would be his best bet. But in every shot in this ad, he looks like the earnest regional manager of a midsize firm, a guy who might do right by you, but first he has to get an OK from the home office. Or maybe from mom.

And Jeb, once in a while, try throwing a policy position or two into your lists (and your mom's lists) of generalities. Say what you'd do as president that other candidates wouldn't do. "Jeb Can Fix It"? Fix what? How exactly? "He seems to be the one who can solve the problems"? Which problems? How?

Here's the weird thing: Trump is obviously the one who's blowing smoke, pretending that he can solve problems when he actually doesn't know what the hell he's talking about, but Jeb comes off as a phonier would-be leader because at least Trump will give you a few one-sentence policy specifics. Build a wall! Make the Mexicans pay for the wall! Bomb the shit out of ISIS! Jeb's policies don't have to be as reptile-brain-pleasing as those. They just have to be mentioned once in a while. As far as I can see, his message is, I'm a great leader because I have great leaderness! You don't believe me? Ask my mom!

Crossposted at No More Mister Nice Blog

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