The Donald’s Gifts for Jeb Bush – Ross Douthat, The New York Times

“But among Trump’s potential beneficiaries, the man most likely to be indebted is Jeb Bush. A few months ago, Jeb looked like the weakest of front-runners: The field was deep, his own poll numbers were lackluster, and he was facing two candidates in particular – Marco Rubio and Scott Walker – who seemed just as capable of uniting the party, more appealing to the average Republican voter, and more compelling as general election candidates than another Bush dynast.

Walker and Rubio are still there, and Jeb’s weaknesses remain. But Trump has come bearing the former Florida governor several gifts.”

First, his sudden prominence sets up exactly the kind of stylistic contrast that Jeb needed: He and the Donald are now the two most famous names in the race, they’re occupying opposing poles (populist/establishment, raffish/respectable) in a way that makes Jeb look like the safest harbor for anyone freaked out by Trump’s success, and the longer Trump polls well the less attention (and, perhaps, fund-raising dollars) there will be for more plausible challengers.

via The Donald’s Gifts for Jeb Bush – The New York Times.

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