It's not just Gail Collins of the New York Times who's noticed that Jeb Bush is making a mess on the campaign trail or whatever trail he's on. That's despite the fact he's always been considered competent (compared to his brother, of course). As a humorist, Collins is having fun picking him apart, though she does seem honestly surprised.
But even fellow Republicans like Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio have attacked him for saying he would have gone to war in Iraq in 2003 even if had known the intelligence was faulty, and they've watched him twist like a pretzel as he's tried to explain himself. Even more embarrassing, he's invoked his brother as a foreign policy adviser. He's also been made to look foolish by a college student pointing out the holes in his logic about how ISIS came to be formed.
Here's what I wrote back in February, and I wonder why it took someone as astute as Gail Collins to figure out what was so damned obvious:
Jeb Bush has been making candidate noises for awhile now and if you wondered what he might be like as a candidate or wanted insight into his character, he gave plenty this week.
He's lazy. And maybe not all that bright.
As The Washington Post reports, he just spoke at a Chicago Council on Global Affairs luncheon. So you'd think someone who wanted to be president, or was at least considering it, might have studied up on some foreign policy issues. Think again.
He made a bunch of verbal gaffes that might be due to nerves, though you'd expect a former governor would be used to public speaking. But it's his answers to questions, and a confession, that raised more serious concerns.
Asked about NATO's stance in the Baltic region, he said, "I don't know what the effect has been, because, you know, it's really kind of hard to be out on the road, and I'm just a gladiator these days, so I don't follow every little detail."
Asked about failed states in the Middle East, he came out with this gem, "I don't have a solution. I mean, I -- I -- I've read articles, you know, about whether the 1915 kind of breakout of the Middle East and how that no longer is a viable deal."
He admitted he was no foreign policy expert, in a bizarre way: "Look, the more I get into this stuff, there are some things [where] you just go, you know, 'Holy schnikes.' "
He's clearly not ready for prime time and is a lousy decision maker, too. Why show off his ignorance of foreign affairs at a foreign affairs luncheon? Unless he thinks his Bush name absolves him of having to do research or prepare with consultants. Which means he's got as scary a sense of entitlement as his brother did.