Analysis: When leaders refuse to leave the stage, it’s time for a paradigm shift
When an American presidential contender tells a room full of journalists and voters they have a problem, it’s time to ask whether they even have a leader.
This is what happened Sunday when Jeb Bush was on a panel at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum:
Q: There’s talk of a Republican primary. What should we say about your political prospects? Do you feel as though your political position has changed since the end of the convention?
Jeb Bush on his GOP primary campaign: “Sure. Not necessarily a change in positions, and maybe not that significant. You know: change in mind-set, right? But I think I’ve found something people can believe in.”
Jeb Bush is the governor of Florida, and a possible presidential candidate. In the process of doing that, he’s becoming a national political figure.
This is unusual. While there are a considerable number of former presidents who have become political figures through their politics, no one has yet done this through their current positions.
What the Trump campaign represents now is unprecedented. For the past year, Americans have heard about a candidate who seems to be the only one willing to speak directly to voters about who they are and who he is as a candidate. It’s been an extraordinary experience for the country to witness these two dynamic personalities on the campaign trail.
On Thursday, Trump made his first trip to a major presidential media market, the city of Indianapolis. And while he spent about two hours there on a bus, he spent almost no time on the campaign issues Americans actually care about. Instead, he spent his time bragging about his campaign and attacking his main opponent.
“She doesn’t care about our citizens,” Trump said to an Indianapolis crowd. “Her sole mission in life is to get Donald Trump elected.”
The crowd cheered.