Requiem for a Dream

GIF H/T The Daily Show

With a formidable string of endorsements and a $150 million fundraising machine, Jeb Bush was the favorite for the Republican nomination going into the 2016 election cycle. But a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation. To cite the famous Beatles song, money couldn’t buy Jeb love.

Despite name recognition and resources, it became obvious from early on that Bush’s campaigning skills were lacking. Between that, the changed GOP primary crowd not receptive to his message, and the seemingly unstoppable Donald Trump juggernaut, Jeb was simply the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There have been numerous post mortems analyzing why the campaign failed (these stories by The Washington Post, Politico, and Vox come to mind) but here are some highlights of the findings:

  • The Jeb Bush campaign spent approximately $150 million to get 94,500 votes, at a cost of approximately $1,600 per ballot. (Twitter)
  • Best headline: How Jeb Bush Spent $130 Million Running for President With Nothing to Show for It (NY Times)
  • According to the NYT report, here’s how campaign’s spending breaks down:
    • Positive Advertising: $84 million
    • Clubbing: $94,100
    • Valets: $15,800
    • People: $8.3 million
    • Branding: $88,387
    • Vegas: $48,544
    • Consultants: $10 million
    • Pizza: $4,837

This campaign will be studied, psychoanalyzed and written about for decades. It’s still early on in the election cycle, but I’m already dying to read Game Change 2016.

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