Monday, October 26, 2015


Don't forget to dot the
exclamation mark.
That exclamation mark in Jeb Bush's campaign posters sure looks like a cry for help these days. He's practically admitting, Look, I'm supposed to get this job, so get the hell out of the way! That was the mantra from Hillary's team in 2008, and as we saw, Barack Obama wasn't going anywhere except straight to the White House.

"Jeb" isn't even his real name, having been given the more elegant moniker John Ellis Bush at birth. I suppose John! wouldn't have the same oomph, unless you're looking for a bathroom.

Nor is he the first candidate to go the presidential punctuation route. In 1996, Lamar Alexander made an exclamation mark his campaign logo. What is it about Southerners who think that shouting their funny-sounding first names will make people excited? 

To me, Lamar! just sounds like the beginning of a line from a Tennessee Williams play. Lamar! Bring me a mint julep this very instant, or you'll find my lack of love absolutely intolerant. On the other hand, Jeb! is more Birth of a Nation. Something like Jeb! Get the guns! Them Yankees are approaching from Crippled Tortoise Creek!

The exclamation mark wasn't enough for Lamar Alexander, though. I remember watching one of his stump speeches on the news. (That's all you need to know about me. I willingly watched a Lamar Alexander stump speech.) He wound things up with, "It's as simple as ABC: Alexander Beats Clinton!" And you could see people in the crowd reacting like, Oh my God, that's why he's going to win! Because ABC! Those same people wound up putting those Lamar! posters under their car tires to get out of their icy driveways that winter.

Or maybe  interrobang.

It's ironic that the loudest GOP candidate doesn't have an exclamation mark in any campaign material. As Donald Trump has learned, using it on posters would be redundant when you're a walking, living, breathing exclamation mark.

Maybe Bush should have used a lower-case j in the posters. The small j in jeb! would have resembled the upside-down exclamation mark at the beginning of Spanish sentences, and, therefore, subliminally persuaded Latinos to vote for him. 

It makes as much sense as the rest of his campaign. In fact, it's as simple as ABC: Another Bush Catastrophe.


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