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Jeb Bush's not-quite-official presidential campaign already running into start-up problems


Quote of the Week: "Jeb may think that sending emails with smiley faces is cutting-edge and charming by 1990s standards, but his 'launch' has shown just how unprepared he is in 2015. Sure, he's ignored critical modern campaign practices like capturing emails and data during a major announcement, but the reality is Jeb's retro tech 'savvy' won't be the only thing to sink his campaign. That job's reserved for his retro views that more closely resemble the backward policy goals of Mitt Romney than a bold reformer willing to move our country forward." – Democratic National Committee Communications Director Mo Elleithee

Annnnnd, we're talking about Bushes again. Though in no way should smug smudge of peanut butter on a charter-school cracker Jeb Bush, who used to be our playground when he was governor of Florida from 1999 through 2007, be a valid concern in terms of following his brother or father into the dynastic White House of glory in 2016, he is already making ridiculous public relations messes as he explores the coat-tailed notion of doing just that. Last week, Bush made a huge spectacle by releasing a boatload of emails in what was, perhaps kindly, called an e-book – because everyone wants to read an e-book from Jeb Bush. To be clear, the emails were basically all strokes to Bush's ego, with a hefty side of my-daughter-did-a-prayer-circle-about-you, so there's that.

The trouble with the faint stab at transparency was that Bush didn't actually redact private information from the emails before he sent them to the drowning pool of the Internet, which, of course, sent the techies whose jobs it is to monitor dumb old people misusing the web into a frenzy. You see, it wasn't just the emojis and "XO" love-vibes that came through the looking glass, it was Social Security numbers and email addresses. That, dear readers, is a problem.

"Jeb Bush basically just doxxed thousands of Floridians," tech website Gizmodo opined in language that even we don't understand.

$100,000: Price of an individual ticket to former Gov. Jeb Bush's Wall Street fundraiser on Feb. 11, 2015. The money would go toward the $50-$100 million Bush hopes to raise through traditional fundraising and his "Right to Rise" political action committee

But what's really at issue here, and what this particular snafu illustrates, is that (gasp!) the Republican Party may not be up to snuff in running a modern-day presidential campaign come 2016. Bush, who has not formally announced but has flirted with every microphone he can find in his midst, comes off as an idiot here. That's why he really needed to hire young talent, right? Somebody who would make the rougher edges of dogmatic conservative philosophy smell of roses. So, of course, Bush's super political action committee (SUPER PAC!!!!) pulled in founder and generally pleasant bigot Ethan Czahor to author this particular everyman's online persona. And, as chief technology officer, Czahor sure did deliver.

Because vetting is really important when hiring folks to run your show "for the kids," Bush must have felt great that he overlooked Czahor's "hip" Twitter references to the gays and the sluts and the blacks, because that's a sociological cesspool that the party really wants to dive into when Hillary hits the road. Even boy-band frontman Marco Rubio, also lined up for Republican presidential posturing, has tried to distance himself from his former mentor, saying, according to the Washington Post, "I never worked for him. I was never a staffer of his." Ooooh, it's on!

275,000: Number of emails Bush published last week, dating back to 1999, in an effort to show his interest in transparency. Sensitive information (including senders' addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers) was not redacted

In the end, though, it would be Czahor who actually stopped working for Bush while Rubio basked in the glory of not being the party's biggest loser anymore. Nobody likes to keep a hipster – especially an incorporated hipster like Czahor – around too long, after all. All those comments about droopy drawers, sluts and the gays at his gym? That only floats with the radical base. Also, brush your hair, hippie.

"The Right to Rise PAC accepted Ethan Czahor's resignation today," Bush's team said in a statement on Feb. 10, just days after hiring him. "While Ethan has apologized for regrettable and insensitive comments, they do not reflect the views of Governor Bush or his organization and it is appropriate for him to step aside."


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