'Dolt .45': The Best Responses to Jeb Bush's Gun Tweet Misfire

Is This the Candidate's Dukakis-in-a-Tank Moment?

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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.

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:

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.

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