Jeb Bush after a rally in February. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Jeb Bush has had a rough year. It wasn’t so long ago that everyone simply assumed he would be the Republican nominee for president. Next thing you know, he was the laughingstock of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”

But he’s on the road to redemption thanks to tonight’s Emmys intro. Jimmy Kimmel opened the awards show with a bit in which he pretended to be running late for the ceremony, so he had to hitch rides with some of this year’s TV characters. First, Kimmel got ferried down the highway in a white Ford Bronco driven by “The People v. O.J. Simpson’s” Al Cowlings (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), and then Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) from “Modern Family” picked the host up in their minivan.

Kimmel tried to get into the presidential limo with “Veep’s” Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). She declined, but her chauffeur offered to let him sit up front. And the driver was none other than Jeb Bush. “I’m between jobs,” he explained. He was even wearing a uniform, topped off with a little hat.

His comic timing was surprisingly impressive as he delivered a few choice lines.

“Are you nominated?” Bush asked Kimmel, and the late-night host replied yes. “Wow, what’s that like?” Bush asked.

Bush then asked whether Kimmel thought he could win, but Kimmel wasn’t so sure.

“If you run a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice,” Bush said. Kimmel seemed heartened until Bush said, “Jimmy, that was a joke,” then threw him out of the limo.

All this raises the question: Where was all that energy when he was campaigning?