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Bush burns out

February 25, 2016

 

JOHN SADLER 

SADLER

SADLER

Features Editor| jts040@latech.edu

 

Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race.

 

Jeb Bush, popularly seen as the conventional, safe candidate, announced the suspension of his campaign Saturday.

 

He had long espoused his “slow and steady wins the race” philosophy, recently beginning to give children small toy turtles at his speaking events.

 

Bush, whose name and experience had him billed as the establishment candidate, was unable to build up the momentum to surpass such unconventional candidates as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

 

Ultimately, it was Bush’s lack of charisma that failed to differentiate him from the one-time gargantuan number of Republican candidates.

 

Marco Rubio’s youth, Cruz’s evangelicalism and the outsider status of Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson all proved to be far more interesting to voters than an establishment Republican like Jeb.

 

Trump’s entrance into the race threw Bush for a loop. Used to the relatively civilized (at least on the surface) politics of Washington, Bush was incapable of engaging Trump on his own level, and when he did it came off as a flailing attempt to keep the top spot.

 

Bush was the conventional army versus Trump’s guerilla forces. He wasn’t outgunned as much as he was outmaneuvered.

 

Trump used Bush as a scapegoat not only for his brother George’s failed policies, but also for the Republican party as a whole, dragging him through the mud as an example of an out-of-touch politician pretending to be of the people.

 

Bush’s inability to truly get angry led many potential voters to agree with Trump’s vision of him as weak.

 

It’s hard to make the civilized option seem preferable when there’s a man yelling out the same views so many voters have suppressed for fear of being called “politically correct.”

 

Bush was one of the most politically correct candidates running in the GOP primaries. He tore apart Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims and was more involved in courting the Latino vote than Cruz, whose father was a Cuban émigré.

 

It will be interesting to see exactly how this election will affect the GOP. Currently, the two frontrunners are currently a billionaire reality television star and a furiously evangelical Tea Partier.

 

Fiscal conservatism, one of the party’s defining characteristics, is being ignored for religiously-based social policies and dismissively racist foreign policy. The candidates’ audience is changing.

 

You have to know your audience, and Jeb did not.

 

John Sadler is a senior journalism major from Extension who serves as features editor for The Tech Talk.

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