Franklin Foer | The goofy, patrician Jeb! may yet have a shot

Franklin Foer, Slate:

BEDFORD, New Hampshire—George W. Bush never really suffered for his sins. But his kid brother sure has. The demise of Jeb Bush has been a source of immeasurable pleasure for, well, nearly everyone. His campaign is a nine-figure boondoggle that suckered cronies from Greenwich and Dallas into investing in a can’t-miss-opportunity. That grating WASP aura of entitlement he wore melted nearly instantly with a choice piece of hectoring about his paucity of energy. Pundits took so much pleasure in Jeb Bush’s plummet that they couldn’t imagine it could ever be reversed.

With his few remaining breaths as a candidate, however, Bush may have a path out from his debacle, an actual shot at the nomination. For months, he tried and failed to crush Sen. Marco Rubio. But he wielded the hatchet like a man who would rather be sailing. What he needed was a wingman. Last night, Gov. Chris Christie, with his bully’s instinct for weakness, baited the golden boy into choking—thereby, relieving Bush of all the throbbing pressure to stage a miraculous New Hampshire comeback.

Nobody—not the media, not the GOP establishment—can now consider Rubio a fait accompli. Republicans can see the fear in Rubio’s eyes, and it has panicked them, confirming all their nagging anxieties. There was a reason that the party has resisted its urge to fully rally around the perfect paper candidate.


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