It is hardly news that Bob Dole has endorsed Jeb Bush. He did so back in November and has made no secret of his deep antipathy for Ted Cruz. Here you see Dole lapsing into his best "demented old man" cackle on that subject:
Bob Dole likes every GOP candidate in the field—except for the one he whispers at the end of this video: https://t.co/i7XGzyWdJW
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 12, 2015
What is sort of a surprise is that Jeb Bush sees Dole as a political asset.
Bob Dole is a great guy but he's never really been in touch with the mood of the American electorate in my life time and is obviously out of touch with what is going on today. Dole's only connection with Kansas is his birth certificate -- he hasn't lived in Kansas in several decades -- and he has even less connection with Iowa. Dole, a wholly owned subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland, and party insider touting another party insider is more likely to make both of them look ridiculous than sway voters.
Jeb Bush is a smart guy. He has to know that any clout Bob Dole had with voters was long gone by the time 2010 and the Tea Party rolled around. He has to know that Bob Dole endorsing him merely underscores the critique that he's an out of step has-been. He could have accepted the endorsement and not mentioned it, but he is wedded to the election model where voters are driven to vote for you based on your endorsements. So he's trotting out Bob Dole's opinion on on what is good for Iowa farmers both to bolster Bush and to, or so they think, disparage Ted Cruz, who has made no secret of his opposition to ethanol as a gasoline additive.
Third, both of them should just go away. I thought Bob Dole did that for us in 1996 but somehow he has been disembalmed, reanimated and hauled out of his Watergate apartment to get him to weigh in on this campaign. Jeb Bush should also go away. Every day he stays in the race is a source of greater embarrassment for him. His collapse became apparent by the time of the first GOP debate. Now he has fenced himself into a Hobson's choice of dropping out before Florida or staying in until Florida and finishing fourth or fifth in the primary of a state where he was a successful two-term governor.
Laughing with me at a couple of has-beens playing politics? Mad as hell because I'm poking fun at an American hero? Either way, visit my archive.