GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush has fallen off the political map, his support in polls languishing around 5%. Bush’s candidacy has been pegged as sleepy, without energy, too serious, too dull. American voters — hyped up on Starbucks, fear, and Twitter — appreciate flash. They also have a deep desire to be constantly entertained. But do they really? Donald Trump provides all the flash you could want, from the hair to the dare he seems to issue every time he speaks. But the election is still 11 months away. For perspective: in previous years Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani have led GOP polls at this juncture.
Trump’s grandstanding and wild rhetoric are coming back to bite him, it finally seems. And Bush looks poised to capitalize as the anti-Trump. (Trump just cancelled a trip to Israel after Israelis thought it less than wise to host the firebrand who’s called for a ban on Muslim immigration to America.) The outlandishness of Trump’s recent antics shine a salutary spotlight on Jeb Bush’s professional calm, his soberness — indeed the very lack of hype that has been cited as Bush’s Achilles heel. As Bush (with Trump’s help) continues to paint Trump as a candidate who’s “not serious” he positions himself — with his own clearly serious agenda — as the anti-Trump. With leading GOP candidates like Ted Cruz and Ben Carson hold view similar to Trump’s on many issues, the question may boil down to this: do voters want an anti-Trump? Or will they soon enough?