Jeb Bush puts up a fight in Iowa

Aug 14, 2015 by

 

Despite polls showing him mired in the middle of the pack, Bush didn’t look like a candidate who was thinking of writing off the state.

DES MOINES, Iowa – It was nearing 11:30 a.m. Friday and Jeb Bush, in three and a half hours up and down the midway, had sweated his way through the Iowa State Fair decathlon – a soapbox speech, pork chops, fried Snickers on a stick, cold Budweiser, TV interviews, a press gaggle, selfies, handshakes, kissed babies and questions, questions, questions.

As Bush’s handlers began to clear a path from the Bud Tent to an awaiting SUV ready to whisk him away, David Kochel, the Iowan overseeing his early state strategy, stood away from the scrum of cameras and iPhone-wielding reporters encircling his candidate and enjoyed a beer of his own.

“Do you know how hard this is?” he said. “Getting through three hours at the Iowa State Fair without any gaffes is just as hard as getting through a Europe trip without any gaffes.”

But as Bush finished his final stand-up television interview and his staffers told him it was time to go, he wiped a sweaty forehead and, remembering that his official itinerary had him on the fairgrounds until noon, told them that it wasn’t.

“We’ve got another 40 minutes,” he told to the staffers who’d been looking to cut him a break. “Let’s go shake some more hands.”

At some point soon, Bush might have to decide whether it still makes sense to campaign in Iowa — he’s currently mired in the middle of the pack in Iowa. The most recent poll shows him in seventh place, with just five percent support from likely GOP caucusgoers here. As Donald Trump has surged, Bush and other contenders have trended downward, struggling to connect with an electorate animated by a deep anti-establishment fervor. But on Friday at least, the former Florida governor didn’t look like a candidate who was thinking of writing off the state.

 

Source: Jeb Bush puts up a fight in Iowa – Eli Stokols – POLITICO

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