Jeb Bush’s #JebCanFixIt Fiasco

GOP 2016 Bush

When the Jeb Bush for President campaign relaunched with a modified slogan, “Jeb Can Fix It,” on Monday morning, the hashtag #JebCanFixIt started immediately trending on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) , garnering nearly 30,000 Tweets by the end of the day.

Sounds great, right? Not if you’re a Bush supporter. The hashtag was instantly hijacked by thousands of trolls with Tweets like this:


And this one, destined to become a classic:

This is a great example of how hashtag promotions can go south on you. You have no control over them. They’re just so easy to spoof. They can trend in a good way, as with the Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) #RedCups campaign (complete with its own emoji that the Twitterati think is adorable), or they can just as easily get hijacked by haters, as with the Bush campaign. You never know which way it’ll go.

The problem is that Twitter is free, everyone has a smartphone, and there are apparently countless self-important losers with nothing better to do with their time than sit on their butts and come up with ever-more creative ways to act out their anger issues with desperate cries for attention.

OK, maybe that is a bit harsh. In all fairness, some of the anti-Bush Tweets did come from political opponents and the left-leaning media, which is fair game. And some of them were pretty funny. I guess if trolling Twitter is part of their job description, you’ve got an excuse.

In any case, Bush’s hashtag fiasco got me thinking about how he’s doing on other social media sites.

Unfortunately, the former Governor’s Facebook page doesn’t look a whole lot friendlier, maybe 50-50, positive versus negative. But Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) seems to have its own unique issue: Nobody can spell, punctuate or put together a coherent sentence. It’s hard to imagine that anyone with enough conviction to actually vote in an election would get anything worthwhile out of comments on a Facebook fan page, but that’s just me.

Lastly, I checked out Bush’s LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) presence. Turns out he joined the business site back in July with the express purpose of publishing a single post (that’s right, just one post) called Disrupting Washington to Unleash Innovators. Not what I would call an overwhelming commitment to the platform or the subject matter, for that matter, but let’s go with it for a moment.

This is one of the comments, verbatim:

“I think Mr Jeb Bush is the right person too lead this country again and I support his bid.  I only hope he can listen too the small people in America and do what is needed to regain their trust and concerns. If your listen Mr. Bush, together we can change the world, apart we can only hope to do the same.”

Maybe this fine piece of prose was written by a first-grader or someone whose first language is not English, but I doubt it. The guy’s profile says he’s a Washington D.C.-based management consultant with an MBA. It also says he’s been a motivational speaker for 115 years, 8 months. His profile pic is a statue. And that’s about it. Yup, looks sort of fake to me too.

Meanwhile the comments were generally more cerebral and less vitriolic than the usual social media fair, and we can all be thankful for that. But then a moderator decided to chime in and remind everyone that “LinkedIn is meant to be a professional networking site” and “those who chose to rant about personal political views” should “please cease & desist.”

Maybe I’m missing something, but that just seems more than a little hypocritical on the part of LinkedIn, considering that Bush’s post did a fair amount of Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama bashing. I don’t care which way you lean; turnabout is fair play.

At that point it became clear to me that, for whatever reason, Jeb Bush has been a bust in the world of social media. And yet, I know it’s been an effective promo tool for the likes of Obama, Clinton, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Why it’s not working for Bush is anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure. He’s definitely not doing it right.