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Jeb Bush has had a rough year.
Around this time in 2015, the former Florida governor was the presumptive frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. While he wouldn’t officially declare his candidacy until June, a super PAC with the sole objective of getting him elected was on its way to raising over $100 million. Everything was coming up Jeb!
But then, quite unexpectedly, Jeb! got trumped.
As it turned out, the gonzo nativism shamelessly spouted by Donald Trump didn’t just resonate with white supremacists; it energized a large swath of the Republican base that was positively furious with the establishment. When both your father and older brother have served in the Oval Office, it’s hard to pretend you aren’t as much of an insider as they come.
Nevertheless, Jeb! persevered. He kept slogging on the campaign trail. He kept letting Trump bully him at debates. He kept raising money. He kept letting Marco Rubio bully him at debates. He finished a disappointing sixth in the Iowa caucuses, with a disappointing 2.8 percent of the vote. He brought his mom out onto the campaign trail. He finished a less disappointing fourth in the New Hampshire primary, with 11 percent of the vote.
Out of all the GOP presidential candidates, Bush has emerged as the one most recognizably human—especially compared to the performative blowhardery of Trump, the eerie calm occasionally obscuring Ben Carson‘s seemingly endless weirdness, and the thin layer of slime covering Ted Cruz.
That’s why, on Feb. 11, the 63nd birthday of the man they call Jeb!, we at the Daily Dot wanted to send him some presents. Nothing major, just little tokens of our appreciation. Jeb!, if you’re reading this (we assume you are), you should be receiving the following items in the mail at your campaign headquarters sometime before the end of this week.
Yes, we actually sent these presents to Jeb!’s campaign office. We hope he enjoys them. We included small, personalized notes with each present.
- The Art of the Deal: Running a campaign is a lot like running a business, and this is one of the best-selling business books of all time.
- The Clapper: So you’ll never have to say “please.”
- Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain: Read this book so you can deal with all of the bullies on the campaign trail!
- I Heart Mom 16-Ounce Mug: Your advocacy of peace through strength is troubling given the dire consequences of your brother’s military adventurism. That disconnect casts doubt on your ability to learn non-superficial lessons from history.
We also thought about springing for these exclamation point stickers, but come on, Jeb!—we’re not made of money. Though since a birthday present without a birthday card isn’t really a birthday present at all, we also made you a birthday card.
Happy birthday, Jeb! May all of your birthday wishes come true.
Aaron Sankin is a former Senior Staff Writer at the Daily Dot who covered the intersection of politics, technology, online privacy, Twitter bots, and the role of dank memes in popular culture. He lives in Seattle, Washington. He joined the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2016.
Once named one of Forbes’ 20 Under 20 and hired as a staff writer for the Daily Dot when he was still a senior in high school, William Turton is a rising tech reporter focusing on information security, hacking culture, and politics. Since leaving the Daily Dot in April 2016, his work has appeared on Gizmodo, the Outline, and Vice News Tonight on HBO.