'Dolt .45': The Best Responses to Jeb Bush's Gun Tweet Misfire
Not to, you know, jump the gun, but it's probably pretty safe to say that Jeb Bush just made presidential campaign history. The wrong sort of presidential campaign history. Presidential campaign history of the Dukakis-in-a-tank variety.
America. pic.twitter.com/TeduJkwQF3— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 16, 2016
In the wake Mr. Bush's Tuesday afternoon tweet, above ... uh, let's just say that nobody's having it. Defintely not gun-control advocates, like the wits at the Daily News, who are winning the internet this morning with their "Dolt .45" cover. But also definitely not the gun-loving conservatives that Mr. Bush meant to court.
It was supposed to be a simple, powerful message: Having received a FNX-45 pistol with his name engraved on it while visiting a Columbia, S.C., gun manufacturer, Mr. Bush -- or, more likely, one of his nitwit campaign staffers who still doesn't understand how social media works -- decided to tweet a photo of it with a one-word caption: "America."
The problem is that Bush previously was the only Republican presidential candidate to not own a firearm. So showing off his new toy this late in the game, and only after a campaign stop at a gun factory, made his level of pandering seem downright grovel-ish.
The other problem is, well, how social media works. Some prime examples:
oh great, Jeb Bush showed us a gun and now according to the rules of drama the Presidential race can't end without it going off— maura quint (@behindyourback) February 16, 2016
Fun fact: Jeb Bush is named after this gun pic.twitter.com/Ygl9fVRPaC— A. History (@AhistoricalPics) February 16, 2016
sadly the gun with Jeb Bush engraved on it is already polling better than he is in South Carolina— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) February 16, 2016
Jeb Bush's campaign strategy has seriously been reduced to just screaming "GUN!" randomly— Groundhog MGK (@mightygodking) February 16, 2016
Everybody report Jeb Bush to twitter for threatening us with a gun— MonsterKing (@CerromeRussell) February 16, 2016
I think the biggest surprise, for me, about Jeb Bush's gun is that it says "Gov. Jeb Bush" on the barrel and not "point away from face".— Pointless Letters (@pointlesslettrs) February 17, 2016
Jeb Bush pointing his gun at you would be scary for .000001 seconds before you took it and smacked him with it. https://t.co/BtBGVXd8MG— Trim Jesus (@CapricornKing_) February 16, 2016
Jeb bush tweeting a pic of a gun is the political equivalent of saying #masc4masc on Grindr.— Timmy Metzner (@timmymetzner) February 16, 2016
oh ffs, who gave this guy a gun? https://t.co/fdIrzRz1RQ— Jennie Dair Berney (@MrsBerney) February 16, 2016
As Politico's Josh King wrote of Michael Dukakis' notorious standing-in-a-tank photo op from the 1988 presidential campaign trail, this is about a candidate "pretending to be something he wasn't and, in the process, making a fool of himself."
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.