unfortunate re-tweet by Donald Trump regarding fellow 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush's spouse caught a bit of attention before being taken down, after standing for about 24 hours. Talking about a politician's spouse in that way is unusual and a little tacky--it's not the kind of thing professional politicians do, but then again, Trump is not a professional politician. I'm hovering between still treating him as having acquired an awkward rich man's hobby in running for president which he may get bored of eventually, or actually (why not?) taking him a little seriously.
It seems to me that he seems a bit more pointed in issuing criticisms about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. It makes a kind of sense though--punching the person perceived as the biggest guy in a room earns respect. That's where I start to think he has some kind of instincts. (But still--the guy who said he would restore America's national brand, has now lost deals with Serta, NBC, Univision, etc. If this is how he manages his own brand--yeesh!)
There are different ways of looking at what seems to me to be a bit of a Trump/Bush beef.
Theory #1--It kind of makes Jeb Bush appear in a more sympathetic light. Think about it: the man attacked his family! Some people commenting on it have speculated if it was intentional but I don't see it. I think Trump is genuinely underwhelmed with Bush at the moment. But it definitely gives Bush a chance to be a "bigger man" and strike a sort of "compassionate conservative" note.
Theory #2--Donald Trump is not a politician. He doesn't have the same sense of what will get the outrage flowing, or he knows what does, but thinks he can harness the outrage on his behalf without being cast in a permanent bad light. (Early polling counts for nothing, but I don't think his numbers are based on name recognition alone. I think he touched a nerve with some people.)
Theory #3--He's a yutz who has been so insulated by money he doesn't know or care, he just does stuff. Like his "Birther" kick that didn't really go anywhere. Or doing a wrestling stunt. He likes attention.
What is interesting is seeing how the other candidates respond to him--does he trigger a substantive immigration conversation in his noisy wake? (Sigh. I expect ridiculous things.) Or does it just sink further into the unhelpful racial territory that Trump's broad brush comments imply?