By now everyone has had their say about Jeb Bush's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. The consensus is that Bush misheard
Politicians routinely answer the question they wish they were asked rather than the question they were actually asked. Indeed, those are the only kinds of questions some politicians -- particularly ones with the last name Clinton -- ever answer. The question
But it doesn't matter. Bush should have murder-boarded every possible variant of that question. His team should have run drills on it, as if he were prepping for a presidential debate. And, he should have given a speech specifically about the
In other words, the disturbing thing about his response and the awkward effort to clean it up is that it was necessary at all.
With the possible exception of the Adamses, there's no family in American history with more institutional knowledge about how to run for president. And of the immediate Bush clan, almost everybody agrees that Jeb is the savviest.
Which is why it's just so interesting that he constantly seems out of sync and off tempo -- with his own party and with the country. My
According to a recent
That sounds great, but wasn't the Bush plan to have a lot fewer rivals to begin with? Earlier this year, some Bush donors told me they would amass such a big war chest that they'd scare most of the field out of the race.
In January, Bloomberg Politics'
Despite raising more money than his brother did, the Jeb Bush campaign has only managed to scare off
Bush is understandably reluctant to play armchair general refighting the last war when it comes to
People who've talked to Bush say he's either reluctant or sincerely uninterested in talking about the race in conventional "who's up, who's down?" terms. Bush has publicly said that he wants to run "joyfully." That's a great -- and smart -- attitude. The only thing lacking is much evidence that he's enjoying himself.
On the stump, Bush has taken to complaining that Hillary Clinton is held to a lower standard because she's not expected to answer tough questions. His aides press the point even more forcefully.
They're right, of course. But this highlights a problem Bush needs to grapple with: Most Democrats think Clinton is entitled to the nomination; Republicans don't feel the same way about him.