In an odd but endearing video posted to his Twitter, Jeb Bush instructed his followers on the finer aspects of taking selfies. Billed as "a master class in selfies," Bush heaped praise upon the trend and gave some tips on how to take the best selfies possible. In the time-honored journalistic tradition of scrutinizing politicians for any hint of hypocrisy, you must now ask: does Jeb Bush follow his own selfie advice?
Bush opened up his master class with a strange joke — "The selfie is now the 11th Amendment of the Bill of Rights" — then insisted that he takes selfies "with great joy in my heart." After explaining that supporters more or less demand selfies with their candidate of choice, Bush got into the weeds and explained what precisely makes a good selfie. His advice essentially boiled down to three points:
- Have a long enough arm to get everybody in frame.
- Hold the camera diagonally, not directly upright, because that's "cooler."
- Position the camera above you, not below you, because "you look skinnier" that way.
All reasonable advice, though I'd argue that diagonal isn't better in absolutely every selfie case. But the bigger question here is whether Bush actually follows this advice. Or is he all talk and no action?
Thankfully, there are many, many selfies of Bush on the Internet. Here's a sampling:
Let's give credit where it's due: When it comes to selfies, Jeb Bush is no hypocrite. He usually does a very good job of getting all of his subjects in frame, even when he's in a room full of people, and almost never takes the picture from an overhead angle. Bush said that taking pictures diagonally is the "cooler" approach; he only sometimes follows this advice, suggesting, accurately, that Bush is only sometimes cool.
In the name of thoroughness, let's also look at pictures of Bush taking selfies.
Yup, he's got it down. It's also worth remembering that in many cases, Jeb! isn't the one taking the selfie; as a result, he shouldn't always shoulder the blame when he appears to violate these self-imposed selfie rules. Because it would be poor form for him to grab a supporter's camera and shout, "Let me do that!"
While Bush is clearly and unabashedly pro-selfie, that puts him at odds with Ben Carson, his rival in the Republican primary. Carson came out against selfies in April. However, he never really abided by that rule, and many selfies of Carson have surfaced since he took a stand against them. When it comes to a social trend as ubiquitous as the selfie, it's probably better for presidential candidates to simply accept them, embrace them, and move on.