Jeb! Bush Finally Earned That Exclamation Point

Let's be honest: Jeb Bush's presidential run has been, well, completely overwhelming. That was evident at the first four debates, and really, throughout his campaign. But at the fifth GOP debate, Jeb finally earned that exclamation point in his campaign logo when, during an exchange with Donald Trump, he actually stood up for himself. "I'm talking," Bush said when Trump attempted to interrupt him. Way to go, Jeb! There's that energy your supporters have been looking for!

After Bush made a point about ISIS, it was Trump's turn to talk. But once Trump started, Jeb attempted to interject to clarify what he'd said. Nothing weird about that; interruptions are standard operation procedure in presidential debates. But Trump, of course, wasn't having any of it, and attempted to strong-arm Bush into shutting up. While anybody watching the debate probably expected Bush to quiet down and shrink away into irrelevance, as that's been his basic strategy during the debates thus far, he didn't. Jeb fought back!

"Am I talking, or are you talking, Jeb?," an irate Trump asked.

"I'm talking right now!," Bush replied to applause. "I'm talking."

"You're not talking," Trump retorted, incorrectly.

Sure, it was a petulant exchange that wouldn't be out of place in, say, a high school government class. But for Bush, it was an important exchange nonetheless.

Jeb has been criticized throughout his entire campaign for failing to come across as energetic and passionate; that, after all, is why he put an exclamation point behind his name in his logo. Up until now, that grammatical change was the closest thing Jeb had come to communicating excitement and enthusiasm, and it didn't quite get the job done.

While Bush's back-and-forth with Trump isn't going to single-handedly revive his campaign, it does show that he is, at the very least, capable of standing up for himself. Maybe more importantly, it shows that he's capable of standing up to Trump. For the first time in the GOP campaign, it's safe to say that the rest of the Republican candidates, who have largely steered clear of criticizing Trump, might want to take some hints from what Bush is doing.