Jeb Bush is looking to bring his family a hat trick. Today, the former Florida Governor announced on Facebook that he was “exploring” a run for the presidency in 2016. A bid for the most powerful office in the world is a delicate game, so starting it off on Facebook was a curious choice.
The Facebook community was none too thrilled with Bush’s announcement. And by that I mean they hurled the worst invective one can imagine on an Internet comment board. One comment was just a series of expletives. Another told him to “piss off.” All told, in the visible sample of comments I counted, six times more people opposed his run than supported it.
Now his page is completely trashed. Would-be supporters can’t even look at Bush’s page without being inundated with a deluge of ruthless comments.
As expected, the comments took a decidedly libertarian tone, condemning Bush for his support of the Common Core, a national initiative to bring universal standards to public schools. Small government conservatives have waged an aggressive battle against the national Common Core program.
Social media and the tech industry generally favor small government conservatives. Indeed, Senator Rand Paul, an avid libertarian and probable contender for the Republican ticket, has 10 times more fans on Facebook than Bush does.
This isn’t to say Bush can’t win his party’s nomination. But announcing on Facebook was a very interesting choice, especially since he won’t have the email addresses of those who support his message and therefore cannot compile an important list of potential volunteers and donations.
But maybe I’m missing something, and an angry mob blinds us to some unknown Facebook magic. We will see soon enough.