So far, Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign has had some interesting — if not downright awkward — moments, multiple instances in which Bush was close to something exciting, or funny, or powerful, but then it just didn’t work.
There’s the whole campaign logo itself: Jeb!, with that exclamation point. There was Bush’s appearance last month on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which we reported on, in which even Colbert told Bush, about a line that fell flat: “Oh, you were so close to getting them to clap!”
And then there’s this:
This week, it happened again.
During a Q&A with the LIBRE Inititaive, a national organization promoting economic empowerment for Hispanics, Bush was asked the following question, “Who is your favorite super hero, ‘Marvel’ they have in parentheses and why?”
In his answer, Bush said, “I don’t know, I’m kind of old school. I like the old-school guys, like Batman. A little dark these days.”
That was fine. But then he said this: “I saw that there’s Super Girl is on TV. I saw it when I was working out this morning, there was an ad promoting Super Girl. She looked pretty hot. I don’t know what channel it’s on, but I’m looking forward to that….”
Awkard laughter ensued, from Bush, the moderator and the crowd. The moderator quickly tried to move on to the next question, but Bush dug the hole a little deeper, deadpanning, “You want to get me out of my hole I just dug?” And at the end of the entire exchange, he said, “That’ll make news.”
You are correct, Mr. Bush. It did. The website io9 ended their recap of the exchange with the following directive to Bush: “Just go home.”
The Washington Post argued that those types of comments distract from the real issues his campaign wants to focus on, and that Bush is “…far less adept at making small talk and digressing than he is at talking policy.”
And Slate said of Bush and the Super Girl comments: “Sometimes it’s not totally clear Jeb Bush wants to be president.”
Of course, Bush is not the first politician to be awkward sometimes, nor is he the only awkward presidential candidate in this election. Have you seen Hillary Clinton dance on Ellen? Or for that matter, Bernie Sanders dance on Ellen? And did you follow that whole #FeelTheChafe hashtag?
Politicians on the national stage are all pretty awkward, at least sometimes. Remember, Barack Obama wore those “mom jeans.” What remains to be seen though, is whether Bush’s awkward moments happen so frequently that they overshadow the rest of his campaign.
So far, Bush and his team have yet to respond to the commentary around his Supergirl remarks. And the actress Bush was talking about, Melissa Benoist, hasn’t said anything about, either. So, maybe it will all be fine, and people just accept that politicians can be really awkward.