Image is Everything and Jeb Bush Just Lost
It is always wisest to judge politicians by what they do rather than what they say. The actions of the candidates at the close of the FOX GOP Presidential debate say that Donald Trump has beaten Jeb Bush.
For just a moment, forget the questions and who answered what. Forget the pundits and all the expert opinions. Take a look at the visuals.
In any messaging, the first and last images are the most important, the most powerful. They are what the human brain will prioritize and glom onto.
The opening image of the FOX GOP debate was of one man out of ten raising his hand. When it becomes evident that he is alone, he doesn’t back down. He stands a little bit taller. It is a John Wayne moment that resonates somewhere deep in the American DNA. All eyes onstage turn to Trump.
As the debate ends, Jeb Bush steps below Trump. Trump remains above him holding center stage as other candidates flock to him.
First, Scott Walker hugs Trump. Trump appears to say, “Call me.” Walker shoots him the trigger finger and seems to say, “I will”.
Then Ted Cruz comes up from the other side. As Cruz hugs Trump, Rand Paul shows up, friendly, despite their earlier dust-up.
Finally, Marco Rubio steps up to Trump’s level, gives him a big hug and walks away all smiles.
Trump continues to hold court at center stage as
Rubio goes down to thank the moderators.
It is important that Trump never moved. His competition all came to him. If you had told me that they were all asking for jobs in the Trump administration and that he was granting their wishes, I couldn’t say you were lying. The body language almost supports that.
These were not the actions of men ostracizing an opponent or politicians sharing the stage with a threat to their party’s very existential existence.
These were men that gravitated towards a leader.
Finally, Trump the gentleman escorts his wife Melania as she flows from center stage like a gifted runway model….oh wait, she is. For a fraction of an instant, visions of Camelot 2.0 float through millions of male brains as America ponders the potential for having the most beautiful First Lady in the world. For a brief millisecond, women gasp…”Chanel, Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik?” What would Jackie do?
John Wayne and Jackie O. Tough to beat.
Trump projected power. Governor Bush did not.
It is that simple. 73% of all people will vote what they feel and right now, Americans want to feel like winners again. Trump does that for people.
Even if the political elite manage to ‘Herman Cain’ Trump out of the race and even if the Bush machine is able to buy more votes than Dr. Carson or Ted Cruz could win, on that stage, on this night, Jeb Bush was beneath Donald Trump. These powerful images have now been branded into the American psyche.