To call the United States presidential nomination campaigns of 2016 a circus would be demeaning to circus acts everywhere. At least with circuses, you know that, eventually, you are going to get a whiff of elephant shit. That whiff may dissipate by 2018 as Barnum & Baily have agreed to phase out their elephant acts due to concern about animal cruelty but, for now, you expect a noseful when you go to the circus.
Politics has decided to remind us that it, too, has a distinct circus odor as candidates fight for the right to represent their respective parties in November. This federal circus has it all: an evil ringmaster in Ted Cruz; Hillary Clinton on the trapeze; Marco Rubio being shot of a cannon; Bernie Sanders selling peanuts; an orangutan driving a motorcycle in Donald Trump; Ben Carson being eaten by a lion.
And then there is best part of the circus: the clowns. Whether they are self-aware of their comedy or taking on the sad-face persona, the clowns are the best part of any circus. And Jeb Bush is the best part of the 2016 campaigns. Sure, Donald Trump may be the loudest part of the campaign race, but when it comes to staring at newsprint, watching video of a debate, or listening to an interview, I find myself painfully mouthing the word, “Why?!” when Jeb Bush is on more than Trump. Selfies: why?! Oddly running up to hug a voter: why?! Bringing his mom up to the podium: why?! “Please clap.” Why?!
But the shining beacon through all of the awkward, Ricky Gervais-esque humor, is the Jeb Bush campaign logo.
Maybe the idea behind the font and copy was meant to engage the simple and direct hopes of voters. “Jeb!” It can be used as an answer, a chant, or a call to the candidate to get out of the road. But now, after seeing the entire election process of 2016 begin to take shape into what looks more like a network ratings war than a presidential campaign, I believe that “Jeb!” is the afternoon talk show answer to the more prime-time spots that other candidates are touting. I can see it now: the logo “Jeb!” scrolling horizontally and vertically through the screen as we see clips of Jeb Bush making cookies, or interviewing Regis Philbin, or having a parrot crap on his shoulder. It’s Jeb! It’s not must-see-tv, but it’s, “eh, better than nothing.”