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Dan Gilmore / February 22, 2016

Jeb! Loses All Energy to Continue Campaign

There’s one less man of character in the race.

With the results of the South Carolina primary placing him in fourth, Jeb!™ Bush dropped out of the GOP presidential primary, saying, “The presidency is bigger than any one person.” Winning South Carolina was key to Bush’s campaign. It was where his brother and father picked up their support in their races. But the possibility of a Bush family dynasty and the crass rhetoric of Donald Trump doomed the former Florida governor’s efforts.

“I have had a front row seat to this office for much of my adult life,” Bush said in the speech announcing the end of his campaign. “I have seen fallible men rise up to the challenges of our time, with humility, and clarity of purpose … to make our nation safer, stronger, and freer. I firmly believe the American people must entrust this office to someone who understands that whoever holds it is the servant, not the master. Someone who will commit to that service with honor and decency.”

And with those comments, Bush demonstrated his respect for voters, the office and the process. As conservative blogger Rod Dreher wrote, it was Bush’s good character that prevented him from stooping to Trump’s level. It was what made him, in part, appear “low energy.” If it wasn’t for the toxic name of “Bush,” Jeb could have been one of the front runners in this primary. And despite not being the ideal candidate for 2016, his dropping out means there’s one less man of character in the race.

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