Jeb! What happened to the excitement?


I did a double-take driving into town this morning — I could have sworn I saw something odd about some Jeb Bush signs along the side of the road.

Sure enough, I was right — no exclamation mark!

A relic of happier, more exciting times?

A relic of happier, if not more exciting, times?

Apparently, for Jeb, the excitement is over. (Perhaps punctuation has been gone for some time and I’ve just noticed, but they’re still pushing it at his website.)

Come to think of it — was there ever a greater mismatch between a brand and the product? Even if things had gone as expected, and Jeb had cruised to an easy coronation, there was never going to be any excitement attaching to his candidacy.

It didn’t fit him personally, or the role he expected to play. Exclamation points are for insurgents. Trump! works, either because you’re excited about him or because you’re alarmed by him, as most normal folks are. A case could be made for Cruz!, along the same lines.

Viva Zapata!” made sense, both because he was a figure in a revolution — mean, the dude wore bandoliers of bullets across his chest — and because the Viva! antecedent demanded it.

But Jeb!? No way, at any time.

So they’ve come down to Earth and gotten more realistic with the message: “JEB: Tough. Tested. Ready.”

Will there be a third stage before he drops out (or is he out of time)?

Will we see signs that say, “Jeb: It’s time to settle.”?

4 thoughts on “Jeb! What happened to the excitement?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    And yes, the sign I saw this morning was paid for by his SuperPAC, “Right to Rise,” and not the campaign. Maybe his PAC never was all that excited about him.

    Oh, and about that name, “Right to Rise.” Anybody ever think that had a certain fascist overtone, like “Triumph of the Will,” or is that just me?

    Basically, this guy had problems with branding from the start. He should have hired ADCO

  2. Mark Stewart


    Sadly Cruz has the best visual branding of the primaries. But then he smirks and talks and negates it all.

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