Everything is coming up Jeb Bush this morning. Since midnight, I've received three push notifications from the 2016 elections subcategory of my preferred breaking news app (which is named, aptly enough, Breaking News) about Bush. The first was an excerpt of a speech Bush was to give this morning, in which he insists that though he loves his father and his brother, he is his "own man" with his "own thinking" and his "own experiences." The second was an announcement that Bush is going to raise more than four million dollars at Chicago fundraisers this week. And the third was a link to live video of Bush's speech. This is a whole hell of a lot of Jeb Bush. What's going on?
Here's what's happening. Bush is trying to position himself as the only serious candidate in the 2016 primaries. This was always his plan, as a blowjobby Politico article also released today reveals. I expect that Bush is pushing up the timeline just a little bit, as Scott Walker is suddenly looking like a formidable candidate and a legitimate Bush alternative to conservatives. But Bush always wanted to dominate the money, the media, and the endorsements in this race, and today is just the beginning of a yearlong blitzkrieg planned by the Bush campaign.
But while conservative sites are Hoovering up Bush's tough talk about being a different man from his daddy and his dumb little brother, he's quietly amassing a foreign policy team that looks exactly like the teams his father and his brother built while in the White House. Just look at this shit:
Meet the Jeb Bush foreign policy team, which may look a bit familiar. http://t.co/pRU4qCJsRF pic.twitter.com/LJvM7QhzlE
— Philip Bump (@pbump) February 18, 2015
When it comes to saying one thing and doing another, the Bush campaign is already rivaling the 2012 Romney campaign. Consider, too, the website Millennials for Jeb, a terrible identity-politics marketing scheme that aims at millennial voters with all the grace and accuracy of a blunderbuss. The site claims to be the first step in "creating a grassroots coalition of Millennial voters joined together to support Jeb Bush's presidential candidacy... through social media and on college campuses." The site promises that Bush will "finally bring smart, bipartisan solutions to our problems," presumably because he's a compassionate conservative. The site also pays lip service to voter enrollment programs, which is pretty funny, considering the Republican party has been committed to stripping voters of their access to the polls. The best part is the shop, which sells Bush-themed products that the Bush campaign believes Millennials should like, such as flasks and semi-ironic T-shirts with cartoonish portraits of Bush with the word "Jeb." printed underneath.
Does the Bush campaign really believe they can win the hearts and minds of Millennials? Probably not. But they want Republicans and the media to think they believe they can win the hearts and minds of Millennials. So they build a website, and they spend a little bit of money to make it fancy. They point to the site as another example of how Bush is pushing boundaries, and they hope the media will take the bait and talk about Bush as a forward-thinking candidate who's breaking down conventional politics. The Bush campaign is pushing out a lie a minute today and hoping the American people will be too lazy to do a single fact-check. Let's hope they're wrong about that.