We did a post earlier discussing former Florida governor Jeb Bush‘s election night plans in early-voting South Carolina, referring to them as the “last gasps” of his presidential candidacy. Now columnist Byron York of The Washington Observer has offered a far more brutal assessment of Bush’s gathering – referring to it as a “death watch.”
Even the candidate himself – who was favored to win South Carolina a year ago – is feeling the fatalism.
“It’s all been decided, apparently,” a dejected Bush told a crowd in Summerville, S.C. “The pundits have already figured it out. We don’t have to go vote. I should stop campaigning maybe.”
Maybe? Um, definitely.
According to the final “First in the South” polling, Bush is struggling to hang onto fourth place in the Palmetto State – where his bid enjoyed the support of the majority of the state’s “Republican” establishment. Seriously … Bush was backed by so-called heavy hitters like U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, former U.S. ambassador David Wilkins and the consulting empire run by Richard Quinn.
That’s a ton of institutional support … yet it got Bush absolutely nowhere in the Palmetto State.
The same can be said of his “I’m With Stupid” strategy of bringing in his brother, former U.S. president George W. Bush, to campaign in South Carolina.
None of it worked … no matter how much money GOP special interests threw at Bush’s bid.
Do we feel sorry for Bush? Hell no. He had precisely one redeeming quality – his support for free market education reform, but in the end he was willing to betray that in an effort to court the support of S.C. governor Nikki Haley (who wound up totally stabbing him in the back).
So … he gets what he deserves as far as we’re concerned.
Bush aides insist they have the money to continue campaigning, and the candidate himself insisted he is moving on to Nevada – which hosts its GOP primary election on Tuesday (and where Bush is currently polling in single digits).
If there were ever a candidate lacking a “path to victory,” it’s Bush.
Rejected by the fiscal conservatives, the Tea Partiers and the libertarians – and then betrayed by the party establishment – he is a man with absolutely nowhere left to go.
Except back to the golf course …
UPDATE: Death watch over.