Apparently, this is a real thing that has happened.

A Jeb Bush “ally,” speaking to the New York Times, described the hiring of pugnacious Danny Diaz as campaign manager as a sign that, ahem, “the culture of the Bush operation will now be a Pickett’s Charge engagement campaign with his main opponents.”


Yes, this is what a good campaign is like. Pickett’s Charge. That famously successful charge that went so well. The frontal assault on higher ground, across a mile of open terrain, that became the high-water mark of the Confederacy. That is the message you want to send: that your campaign will fail to take the high ground, then choose, on the third day of battle, to mount a full frontal assault over Gen. Longstreet’s objections? Also someone named Jeb will show up late because he is trying to ride around the enemy army again? Maybe? Look, I really don’t see how this comparison works.

“He is modeling his campaign on Napoleon’s military exploits,” the next Bush ally will cheerily announce. “Specifically, Waterloo.”

“The Titanic’s maiden voyage remains a big inspiration to Jeb.”

“When I think of the Jeb campaign launch, three words spring to mind: Little Big Horn. Or is that two words?”

With allies like this, who needs critics?

Where is the upside to this comparison? What was this person thinking? If you have to think of some less cliched way of saying that the strategy is a no-holds-barred, all-in drive for victory, you’d think you could come up with a comparison that did not end in one of history’s most famous defeats — and was not helmed by the Confederacy, a challenging subject for comparison at the best of times. Heck, even the Charge of the Light Brigade might be less fraught.

Jeb already shares a name with a Confederate cavalry general (James Ewell Brown Stuart, conspicuous by his delayed arrival to Gettysburg). This is one more comparison he does not need.

Further Reading: