He's been the butt of jokes much of the election season, reduced to uttering things like, "Please clap" and getting bullied by Donald Trump in the early debates. But at Slate, Franklin Foer makes the case that Bush is a viable candidate once again. The logic is that the party establishment still needs an alternative to Trump or Ted Cruz, and after the weekend debate in New Hampshire, it's clear that Marco Rubio is not a "fait accompli." Bush had tried going after Rubio on his own, without success, and it turns out that he needed a "wingman"—one who arrived in the form of Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor, "with his bully’s instinct for weakness, baited the golden boy into choking—thereby, relieving Bush of all the throbbing pressure to stage a miraculous New Hampshire comeback."
Foer argues that Christie himself has neither the money nor the organization to win the nomination, while John Kasich is too "out of sync" with the party. That leaves Bush, who seems to be finally finding his stride. Oddly, he has Trump to thank for that, writes Foer. Bush seemed to cower from Trump's attacks at first, but now he clearly relishes going after the frontrunner. "Thanks to Trump, Bush has a sense of mission," writes Foer. "It’s given him a psychic basis for believing in the moral purpose of his campaign, beyond a quixotic attempt to reclaim a family heirloom or to prove himself to his father." It would have seemed unlikely just weeks ago, but Bush "has earned the right to rise." Click for the full column. (Read more Jeb Bush 2016 stories.)