Following his fourth place finish in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush’s Presidential campaign was upbeat. They had a reason to be. They beat their nemesis, Marco Rubio, by several hundred votes. It’s not much, but it’s something.
Now, the campaign is calling this a “reset” of the political atmosphere surrounding the race. This, it is not. Nothing has changed for Bush. It changed for Rubio who now has to scramble to save face and reinsert himself as the Republican Establishment choice. It changed for John Kasich who has been vindicated as a potential player in a race that seemed to be passing him by the week before. It changed for Ted Cruz who is now positioning himself as the only viable alternative to Donald Trump. It changed for Trump who now has big momentum and will try to steamroll over the field.
For Bush, nothing changed. He’s still the disappointingly weak candidate that had the nomination in the bag a year ago before he even announced his intention to run. Nothing has changed with the sentiment surrounding his campaign. Nothing has changed with his goals. He still needs to notch a big win – either 1st or second – in South Carolina and/or Nevada or his campaign will not survive through March. It might not survive into March if he finishes low in South Carolina and Nevada.
Here’s the fiction:
— Patrick Dollard (@PatDollard) February 10, 2016
Here’s the reality: Jeb Bush is pretty much done. Everyone seems to know it but him. George W. Bush campaigning for him in South Carolina isn’t going to change anything for him.