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!
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.
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.”?