Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, attended a town hall meeting in Columbia, South Carolina, on Wednesday featuring Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush (shown). According to York, the meeting was a “downer,” with family members ranging from older brother George W. Bush, his mother Barbara Bush, his sister, another brother, along with Jeb's wife and children, all behaving as though they were attending a wake and not a celebration.
When quizzed about it, Bush responded, sarcastically: "It’s all been decided, apparently. The pundits have already figured it out. We don’t have to go vote. I should stop campaigning, maybe."
York spoke to a reporter who covered comments that Bush made about obituaries already being prepared for his campaign’s demise. While Bush was making those comments, that reporter was writing such an obituary for his editor.
Bush and his staff deflected, sometimes not very deftly, questions about how much longer his campaign can continue before he cashes in his chips and heads for home. For example, Bush responded to one such question this way: "We’ve been rising in the polls [from 3 percent to 10 percent]. I feel good about where we are, and I’m going to work hard."
His words betrayed his demeanor when he spent way too much time talking about how he lost an election in 1994 to Florida’s incumbent governor Lawton Chiles: "In 1994, I ran and I lost. It was a great experience. Losing is actually one of the best things that you can do if you’re interested in proving yourself, right? You never learn when you’re successful. You always think it’s all perfect, it will always work out. When you get knocked back is when you adjust, when you learn, when you grow."
Some thought he was running for president instead of seeking a growth experience. Others were put off by his ignoring a question about the Bush “dynasty,” posed by an earnest college student. Asked the student, “A lot of people my age, my peers, have concerns with the Bush name, not because it’s a bad name or anything, but just because you’re the third Bush. What is your message to that concern?”
Bush responded with an awkward reference to the Adams family, which had enormous political influence from the late 18th century through the early 20th century, and then totally ignored the question with this: “I hope people will hear my plan, so your age group, generally the concerns are, how am I going to pay off my student loan? The student loan program was nationalized by ObamaCare.”
As he was leaving the meeting, Bush was peppered with more questions about his campaign and its finances and whether it was on the verge of running out of money: “Do you have enough to go on to Nevada?” asked one. Bush said “Yeah, absolutely.”
According to Real Clear Politics, Bush is tied for fourth with Ohio Governor John Kasich in South Carolina going into tomorrow’s primary there. In Nevada Bush isn’t even in the top five.
Former presidential candidate (and former senior advisor to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan) Pat Buchanan sees clearly what’s happening. In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Buchanan said that after 25 years of the Bush dynasty the chickens are coming home to roost: "In the GOP nomination race, the chickens of a quarter century of Bush Republicanism have come home to roost. Trump’s triumphs to date are due to his recognition of, and identification with, the Middle American revolt against Bush family ideology and policy, and what it has produced."
He added: "America is rejecting the Bush immigration policy that refused to secure our border, allowing 12 million illegals to enter [and] then offered [them] amnesty because … the United States is helpless to do anything about [it]."
Buchanan explained Middle America’s rage that is being reflected in support for Trump:
Trump’s success also represents a repudiation of a reflexively interventionist foreign policy that produced the longest wars in our history, cost us 6,000 dead, 40,000 wounded, and trillions of dollars. And the price tag rises monthly. We are now mired down in five wars — Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen — for what?
Contrast where we were when Ronald Reagan went home, with where we are, and it is easy to understand the revolutions raging in both parties. America’s establishment has failed America. The single clearest message in the presidential campaign of 2015-2016 is that the American people would like to cleanse our capital city of its ruling class.
If the media is writing off Jeb’s campaign, can Jeb himself be far behind?
Photo: AP Images