So far, Jeb Bush has hardly lived up to the exclamation point so poignantly placed at the end of his name. He's put up a pretty underwhelming campaign, one coined "boring" by fellow Republican Donald Trump. With the second GOP debate coming up, Bush is in desperate need of an image revamp, and in fact, Bush could learn some tips from Justin Bieber, who's experiencing one hell of a comeback after years of being the butt of many a good jokes.
When he first announced his candidacy, Bush was largely viewed as the Republican front-runner, but three months and one Trump later, the numbers don't lie. Bush is coming in third in the Republican field with 7.8 percent of the vote, according to an average of national polls culled by RealClearPolitics. In Iowa, Bush sits at 3 percent.
Two years ago, Americans declared their hatred for the Biebz, with 54 percent saying they held an unfavorable view of the Canadian singer. But with a knockout VMA performance and a new No. 1 hit with "What Do You Mean?", Bieber has made it clear his comeback is for real. Bush has promised he'll be out in full force during the second GOP debate, but he ought to take some notes from Bieber who knows a little bit about getting back in the public's good graces.
Don't Be Afraid To Show A Little Emotion
Bieber famously broke out in tears after taking the stage at the VMAs, later telling Jimmy Fallon he was just grateful for the crowd's support. In the first Republican debate, Bush was pretty much a TV snooze — The New York Times politely calls his style "cerebral" — and whether he laughs or cries, the former Florida governor will need to exude some kind of emotion if he hopes to connect with viewers.
A Little Skin Can Go A Long Way
As part of his new aggressive phrase, Bush went all Clark Kent at a Florida campaign office opening by unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a red '84 Reagan Bush T-shirt underneath. It was a throwback call to his father George H.W. Bush as vice president, a time when America was "strong" and "resolute," he said. Frankly, Bush should have just taken it all off á la Justin Bieber in Calvin Klein. OK, maybe not that far, but the move would have definitely gotten people's attention.
Dump The Dead Weight
Bieber wasn't running with the best crowd, and he publicly admitted some of those close to him weren't the best influence. The singer also shared how mo' money meant mo' problems, and his fast fame made him lose sight of his dreams. Late last month, Bush lost three of his top advisers amid talk of slowing campaign dollars. His team has reportedly told certain divisions to cut back on their spending, and the candidate himself has started to fly commercial, eschewing pricey private jets. Instead of looking at these problems as a negative, Bush should take a page from Bieber and rise above his the money.
Use The Late-Night Circuit To Your Advantage
Bush guested on Stephen Colbert's Late Show premiere last Tuesday, but the whole appearance was pretty straightforward for dear ol' Jeb. Instead of taking the opportunity to joke and josh with Colbert, the Republican delivered less than memorable campaign points better reserved for pundit sit-downs. If anything, Bush should go the emotional route, as Bieber did with Fallon, and just speak from the heart. Candidates are people after all.
Create A Cool Fan Base Nickname
Bieber has his Beliebers. Taylor has her Swifties. Maybe Bush could have his... Bush band? May the force be with the Jeb-ites? I don't know, but there's definitely something there — sans punctuation.
C'mon Jeb, it's time to shrug off accusations of being boring. Bieber's got the right idea. Maybe you should give him a call.
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