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How Jeb! Spent $50 Million to Destroy His Campaign, His Legacy, His Name

In New York Magazine, Ed Kilgore looks at the rolling failures of the Jeb! Bush campaign.

[T]here are some problems with Bush ’16 that you can’t blame on the misallocation of money or the acceptance of political truisms everyone used to believe in until Donald Trump and Ted Cruz made a hash of them. If you really think about it, the entire message and persona Jeb Bush has tried to present is that he’s the candidate the whole party called for in the famous March 2013 RNC “autopsy report“: a genial and pragmatic reformer from a key battleground state who speaks Spanish fluently and knows how to talk about avenues to equal opportunity.

It has turned out, to the surprise of many people aside from Bush, that this is actually not what Republican voters seem to have in mind, and they are being stubbornly resistant to the idea of getting back in their places and accepting the candidate or candidates “the party decides” upon. So Jeb’s decision to show general-election swing voters some leg by disagreeing with “the base” on education standards and immigration policy wound up being a disaster instead of a calculated risk.

He squandered one precious asset at precisely the wrong time: his reputation as the only seriously ideological conservative in his family. That created openings for both Cruz and Rubio, and left him suddenly without a base other than the money people.

Read the whole thing.

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