The Nuclear Option: Jeb Burnishes Non-Credentials on Global Tour


Not since Clark Griswold took his family on a European vacation have we seen such goofy antics. Jeb Bush, in a desperate bid to be taken seriously, is cashing in his last name to buy himself a first-class tour of European capitals to hobnob with world leaders, statesmen and dignitaries.

Upon returning, still in the glow of his international accomplishments, he will announce that he is running for president.

But wait. Isn’t he already running for president?

After all, how exactly does one shake up a campaign that is not a campaign? Just before skipping the pond, Bush sacked one manager of his non-campaign and replaced him with another manager of his non-campaign.

It is all very complicated. Something you only learn in social circles of Kennebunkport. The Kennebunkport Two-Step. The Kennebunkport Tango. The Kennebunkport Loafer Slide, maybe?

With all this world travel and shaking up of non-campaigns, who on earth has time for all the niggling details about the construction of the four-bedroom, 3,000-foot new seaside home being built in the Bush compound in Maine for Jeb?

Well, Mumsy, of course. That is Barbara Bush’s job. But the “cottage,” as the family refers to it, does not belong to Jeb Bush, according to the Boston Globe. However, naming it the “Jeb Bush House” on construction plans might give Jeb Bush a teensy feeling of entitlement to it.

Sure hope that feeling of entitlement doesn’t make Jeb feel, well, uncomfortable or anything.

You know, if Mitt Romney was disqualified from the presidency for basically being rich and not realizing that most voters don’t really relate when you say corporations are people or how much you love firing people, then doesn’t that mean Jeb Bush is kind of disqualified? At least Mitt Romney earned all his great wealth.

Sliding into your Daddy’s beach loafers that your brother has already taken for a spin — and scuffed up pretty good — isn’t exactly a recipe for success for America or the GOP.

Anyway, back to Europe, which I bet Jeb Bush can see from the front porch of the “Jeb Bush House.” How exactly does one arrange an audience with the world’s most powerful woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and all the other political heavies Jeb is meeting on his global victory tour of his non-campaign for president?

If your last name were, say, Walker or Paul or Cruz or Sanders or O’Malley, do you think you would get an audience with the most powerful woman in the world?

Let’s just say it’s good to be a Bush. At least in this kind of situation.

Your forebearers might have blown it up, broke it or thrown up on it all over the world stage. They may not have liked it, but they definitely remember your name.

It is the same royal treatment you would get if your name were, say, “Clinton.”

At least then-Sen. Barack H. Obama had the decency to wait until he was a genuine global rockstar before he launched his global tour in the summer of 2008 in hopes of burnishing his non-credentials for the presidency.

Throngs showed up everywhere Obama went to see the Great One spout off all these platitudes that everybody now realizes were utter nonsense. But at least he could draw a crowd over there.

Where is the crowd clamoring for Jeb? Where is Jeb’s wave? He can’t even seem to rustle up a wave in his own country.

It is sort of reminiscent of Barack Obama just after ascending the presidency. Unburdened by accomplishment or experience, he was inexplicably awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Maybe Jeb Bush should scoot over to Norway while he’s over there and see if he can’t find an audience with the Nobel Committee.

Charles Hurt can be reached at and on Twitter at @charleshurt.