I think some will fault him for “not pushing back against liberal memes and tropes.” Those memes and tropes being that a person’s compassion is measured by those legislative initiatives he supports on behalf of black people, Hispanics, and women.
The height of morality is to address a complaint of a minority (or a woman — “The 51% Minority”).
Whereas, on the other hand, the complaints of white people are dismissed as “anger” and “rage.”
But it’s not a candidate’s job to fight the American people’s delusions and prejudices on every front. Candidates usually must play to the public’s stupidities and bigotries.
This ad is soft and sugary as heck. But I think it’s successful in humanizing Jeb. And considering the fact that the progressive psyops campaign is to dehumanize all non-progressives — and considering how successful that psyops campaign is — it’s important to insist upon one’s own humanity.
Here’s the ad. Our analysis is below…
Allah notes that the ad is also heavy on the accomplishments Bush racked up as governor of Florida, which regardless of what you might think of him as a potential Republican nominee is a strong selling point for him. Bush was a very, very good governor in the Sunshine State, and if you put his record up against Hillary Clinton’s he could be a winner – as, the theory goes, an actual record of effective governance can defeat identity politics and ideology.
Particularly if Bush is going to build his primary campaign narrative around a general election theme.
Which is interesting, because while Bush’s surrogates on cable news and elsewhere will continue to push the idea that he’s reaching out to the GOP’s conservative base, there is virtually nothing in this web ad launching his campaign that holds any special appeal to deep-red conservatives. Sure, Florida’s school voucher program is a winner, and sure, the fact that Florida’s economy was humming while he was in charge is good stuff.
But you’ll look long and hard before you’ll find anybody particularly interested in domestic violence as a federal issue within the universe of Republican primary voters. It’s not that conservatives don’t care about domestic violence, but they’re going to be fairly adamant about the necessity of addressing that issue at the local and state level and keep the feds out. To give it such a prominent place in a web ad launching a presidential campaign sounds like he’s running on fighting domestic abuse – and your typical conservative voter is going to have a stroke at the idea that’s what you’re going to make a central issue in the campaign rather than fighting ISIS or shrinking the size of the federal government or revamping the tax code or jump-starting entrepreneurship.
Ditto for the stuff about the developmentally disabled kids – the federal government has done so much damage with the free cash it doles out to parents of kids with developmental disabilities that people who work in public schools will joke about the “crazy checks” kids get when someone diagnoses them with this disability or that. The kid in the commercial obviously isn’t one of those, but conservative voters will consider the policy impact of emphasizing it and not be impressed with what’s to come.
End of the day, this ad is obnoxiously premature. Not only that, it hearkens back to the old “compassionate conservatism” theme that his brother pushed in 2000, and makes Jeb all that much more a reprise of the Usual Bushes he’s supposed to be a change from. Most of the GOP primary electorate isn’t excited about another Bush or a return to Bush 43 policies; they want something else. If he wants to be the nominee he’s not only got to show he’s competent but he’s also got to show he’s fresh.
This isn’t 2008 or 2012, where the conservative alternatives are running shoestring campaigns. There are going to be several outstanding conservative candidates – Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, for example, all look like top-tier options – capable of coalescing the vote against Bush as the “establishment” candidate, and if he’s going to break out of the pack and actually become the frontrunner he’s been rather fraudulently advertised as by some of the cable news networks he’s going to need to compete for the base vote.
And you just don’t do that by parading domestic abuse victims and autistic kids around. The GOP base voter cares about those people, but they give to private charities in hopes of alleviating their suffering.
If the choice was between Jeb and Hillary, then sure – this ad appeals to the female vote and the independents and the low-frequency, unengaged voters who think the primary item of importance in choosing a leader is whether he or she is somebody you’d want to go have a beer with. But it’s not, and it won’t be for pretty close to a year from now if that battle even materializes at all.
And therefore, I’m going to disagree with Allah and Ace. I don’t think this is an effective ad given the target audience in this stage of the political process. Unless Jeb expects to win a bunch of open primaries by getting Democrats and independents to cross over and vote for him (which isn’t the most likely eventuality), it’s just not going to help him.