Editorials

Editorial: Jeb couldn’t fix it after all

Miami Herald Editorial

Video editorial: Bye, Jeb

Jeb Bush was blown off course by the Trump tornado and never gained any forward momentum. To add insult to injury, his mentee, Marco Rubio, bested the mentor.
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Jeb Bush was blown off course by the Trump tornado and never gained any forward momentum. To add insult to injury, his mentee, Marco Rubio, bested the mentor.

In the end, Jeb Bush’s mother had it right: “We’ve had enough Bushes.” And that’s what voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and now South Carolina affirmed.

On Saturday, the terminally ill presidential campaign of Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, son of one president and the brother of another, died more suddenly than expected.

A tornado named Trump, howling through the race with bombast and braggadocio blew Mr. Bush, once as presumptive as Hillary Clinton was “inevitable,” so far off course that the former governor never gained solid footing.

As the results of the South Carolina primary rolled in Saturday evening, with Mr. Bush not cracking into the top three, behind Donald Trump — and while Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio duked it out for second place — Mr. Bush, a Coral Gables resident, said, No mas.

With him goes the idea that an establishment candidate with deep pockets and deep leadership experience could make the case for his candidacy, could sway voters clamoring for change — no, make that revolution — to his side.

In the end, his political heft didn’t matter.

The shame of it all is that Mr. Bush couldn’t even hold on until Florida’s March 15 primary, in which two Floridians, Sen. Rubio being the second, would be on the ballot. States so unlike Florida cheated Sunshine State voters out of the opportunity to make their own decision.

The quest for the Republican nomination has just lost a calmer voice, one of moderation, at least in this upended race. Though the Editorial Board disagreed with some of his stances when he was governor, Mr. Bush spoke common sense on immigration. Like he did, we supported Common Core.

Early on, Mr. Trump branded him a “low energy” candidate, and Mr. Bush was never able to shake the label. His uncomfortable and wonkish debate appearances, despite some heated sparks, didn’t help.

In the end, nothing helped: not ditching his glasses, not a new campaign slogan, not Mommy or Big Bro.

In the end, Jeb couldn’t fix it.

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