Signs of panic in the Jeb Bush camp

Among the many unpleasant surprises the GOP establishment has had to endure this election cycle, the failure of the Jeb Bush campaign to catch fire is one of the most perplexing.  (For them.  Conservatives expected this all along.)  After all, family connections and big money normally are the gateway to power, and Jeb has both in abundance.  Those wretched ingrates in the party base are unforgiving when it comes meekly accepting establishment dictates on picking the nominee in the wake of the McCain and Romney disasters.  Being a Bush is a huge negative outside the corridors of power, as the specter of a dynastic rematch between a Clinton and a Bush suggests a monarchy, not a republic.

Ed O’Keefe and Matea Gold of the Washington Post see the current moment as a “make or break time” for Jeb. 

Jeb Bush is entering a critical phase of his Republican presidential campaign, with top donors warning that the former Florida governor needs to demonstrate growth in the polls over the next month or face serious defections among supporters.

The warnings, expressed by numerous senior GOP fund­raisers in recent days, come as Bush and an allied super PAC are in the early stages of an aggressive television ad campaign they say will help erase doubts about his viability.

The specter of Scott Walker’s campaign shutdown has got to be haunting Jeb.  The vaunted one hundred million dollars raised for him is mostly in the hands of PACs and cannot be used by the campaign itself to pay for staff and travel expenses.  The ad campaign mentioned will come from PACs, which can receive huge checks from wealthy supporters.  But the campaign faces strict limits on the size of donations.

Jonathan Martin in the New York Times outlines the campaign’s push to raise money today:

Jeb Bush’s campaign has invited leading donors to its Miami

headquarters on Monday for a fundraising call-a-thon, part of a final push to maximize their haul for this quarter ahead of the end-of-month finance deadline.

In an email to contributors, Bush finance director Heather Larrison wrote that the donors could also make the calls from home if they were unable to come to Florida.

“We would appreciate all of our friends across the country dedicating a few more hours before the end of the month to helping the mission,” wrote Ms. Larrison

Mr. Bush, who has been slipping in many polls, raised over $100 million for his “super PAC” in the first half of the year. But collecting contributions for the campaign, in which individuals are limited to giving $2,700 per-person, is far more difficult and Mr. Bush’s report will be closely watched for how much he has expanded his universe of both large and small donors.

The quarter ends on Wednesday, and after that, the fundraising totals will tell the tale.  I suspect that the Jeb campaign is worried that its small donor fundraising will look weak compared to Carson and Cruz.  Meanwhile, Trump will tout his self-financing, and cast aspersions on those large donors to Bush’s PACs.

Jeb’s perceived strength is all about money, and the Post shows how much they still think they can buy love:

… those within the Bush camp say they are not alarmed over the dynamics of the race, confident that their financial war chest will enable their candidate to outlast opponents, according to campaign strategists and top Republicans familiar with internal discussions.

My colleague Rick Moran thinks Bush is already “toast” and wonders whom he will endorse when he drops out of the primaries.  I have a hard time seeing how he recovers from the snub voters are giving him.  Television commercials ain’t gonna do it.

Among the many unpleasant surprises the GOP establishment has had to endure this election cycle, the failure of the Jeb Bush campaign to catch fire is one of the most perplexing.  (For them.  Conservatives expected this all along.)  After all, family connections and big money normally are the gateway to power, and Jeb has both in abundance.  Those wretched ingrates in the party base are unforgiving when it comes meekly accepting establishment dictates on picking the nominee in the wake of the McCain and Romney disasters.  Being a Bush is a huge negative outside the corridors of power, as the specter of a dynastic rematch between a Clinton and a Bush suggests a monarchy, not a republic.

Ed O’Keefe and Matea Gold of the Washington Post see the current moment as a “make or break time” for Jeb. 

Jeb Bush is entering a critical phase of his Republican presidential campaign, with top donors warning that the former Florida governor needs to demonstrate growth in the polls over the next month or face serious defections among supporters.

The warnings, expressed by numerous senior GOP fund­raisers in recent days, come as Bush and an allied super PAC are in the early stages of an aggressive television ad campaign they say will help erase doubts about his viability.

The specter of Scott Walker’s campaign shutdown has got to be haunting Jeb.  The vaunted one hundred million dollars raised for him is mostly in the hands of PACs and cannot be used by the campaign itself to pay for staff and travel expenses.  The ad campaign mentioned will come from PACs, which can receive huge checks from wealthy supporters.  But the campaign faces strict limits on the size of donations.

Jonathan Martin in the New York Times outlines the campaign’s push to raise money today:

Jeb Bush’s campaign has invited leading donors to its Miami

headquarters on Monday for a fundraising call-a-thon, part of a final push to maximize their haul for this quarter ahead of the end-of-month finance deadline.

In an email to contributors, Bush finance director Heather Larrison wrote that the donors could also make the calls from home if they were unable to come to Florida.

“We would appreciate all of our friends across the country dedicating a few more hours before the end of the month to helping the mission,” wrote Ms. Larrison

Mr. Bush, who has been slipping in many polls, raised over $100 million for his “super PAC” in the first half of the year. But collecting contributions for the campaign, in which individuals are limited to giving $2,700 per-person, is far more difficult and Mr. Bush’s report will be closely watched for how much he has expanded his universe of both large and small donors.

The quarter ends on Wednesday, and after that, the fundraising totals will tell the tale.  I suspect that the Jeb campaign is worried that its small donor fundraising will look weak compared to Carson and Cruz.  Meanwhile, Trump will tout his self-financing, and cast aspersions on those large donors to Bush’s PACs.

Jeb’s perceived strength is all about money, and the Post shows how much they still think they can buy love:

… those within the Bush camp say they are not alarmed over the dynamics of the race, confident that their financial war chest will enable their candidate to outlast opponents, according to campaign strategists and top Republicans familiar with internal discussions.

My colleague Rick Moran thinks Bush is already “toast” and wonders whom he will endorse when he drops out of the primaries.  I have a hard time seeing how he recovers from the snub voters are giving him.  Television commercials ain’t gonna do it.