The whispers a year or two ago were radically different than the earnest political discussions of today. Last year, Donald Trump was just a griping billionaire, Ted Cruz was rumored to be running, but was busied with his tasks of slugging it out with entrenched career politicians in his own party and Jeb Bush was the heir apparent to the Bush dynasty and the establishment stooge conservatives feared would be pushed upon Republicans for yet another miserable election.
Today, the reality of the Republican Party is radically different. Trump soared to the top of the heap with his brash rhetoric and unapologetic style, Cruz crafted an impressive coalition and made steady gains to ultimately emerge triumphant in Iowa and Jeb Bush… well… has failed to impress really anyone.
The establishment politician has taken relentless (but well-deserved) abuse from Trump and other candidates who have capitalized upon a decidedly anti-establishment note in this year’s presidential election. His fundraising efforts were initially impressive, but donors have grown tired of the low-energy candidate who has blown-through his campaign war chest on luxuries and ad buys that’s secured Bush a measly 5,000 or so votes in Iowa.
His awkwardness has been painful to watch and his inability to strike a chord with what the conservative base of the GOP wants is indicative of the failed politics of the GOP during the last quarter-century.
The worst of both worlds, Bush overspent and underperformed in Iowa and each vote cost him a whopping $2,884.
And that’s just if we count the $14.9 million which came from his Super PAC.
If we count the ad buys and the travel expenses and the whole shebang, Bush spent more than $80 million on Iowa. With just 5,165 votes having been earned in the state, that adds up to 15,488 per vote.
Unfortunately, money fuels modern elections and the days of humble whistlestops are long gone. Each candidate must spend money to secure victory, but with a poor showing in arguably the most-important event of the primary season and having blown $80 million on a few thousand votes, it not only evident that Jeb Bush is far from being the choice of Republicans- it’s clear that Jeb Bush cannot be trusted with a checkbook.