After months of being kicked around by Donald Trump, and getting used to the low altitude of the middle of the GOP presidential pack, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is slimming down his presidential campaign. According to Politico, Jeb’s staff is being axed like old timber:
Jeb Bush on Friday ordered a wholesale restructuring of his struggling campaign after suffering miserably in the polls despite massive spending and a deep donor network.
The campaign will cut payroll costs by 40 percent, downsize its Miami headquarters by more than 50 percent, reduce travel costs by 20 percent and cut 45 percent of spending on things other than media and voter contact.
The news has been greeted with gleeful schadenfreude by Bush critics, which run the gamut of political ideology, but this doesn’t mean Jeb is anywhere near dropping out of the race. No, the buried lede here is that Donald Trump is right about yet another thing. From Politico:
Top advisers David Kochel, along with Bradshaw and Diaz, had already taken significant pay cuts earlier this summer; and the campaign has sought to minimize its travel expenses of late. But after last week’s FEC report, donors demanded major changes, not just belt-tightening around the margins.
But other donors aren’t certain that cutting expenses is the main problem at the moment.
“They are cognizant of it and they are being diligent about it,” this New York City-based donor said. “But they are not going to cost cut their way to the White House.”
Trump has been an unlikely vehicle for criticism of money in politics, but this story perfectly illustrates what he has been saying. Jeb has raised the most money, by far, but now he finds himself caving on to the demands of his donors, and he’s not even in office yet. What’s perverse is that without the enormous sums of money he’s already raised, Jeb would probably be on the verge of dropping out, but with so much cash already invested in him, that’s one cut his donors are unlikely to allow.