There's nothing surprising about Jeb Bush dropping out of the 2016 race at this stage--looking back over the campaign that was is a joyless task I'm in no way interested in, and I'm mostly just happy not to have to watch him run, or whatever it was he thought he was doing, anymore.
What I am reminded of, though, was when WI Gov. Scott Walker dropped out. He had said at the time:
“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country.”At the time, I joked that you just couldn't talk the other losers in the race to bow out in favor of Jeb Bush, as being the handiest example of the "establishment" favorite. And of course, nothing of the kind did happen. And for some reason, Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich all have reason to like their odds at this point, even if I think Rubio's the default. (Carson's campaign is really just buckraking, and it's sort of peculiar that that actually still has any flavor left for the rubes to chew on.)
It's too late to "what if" how things might have been different with a narrower field from the beginning. But it is clear that Jeb was never the guy everyone was going to rally around. I'll tell you when I was sure of that--when Donald Trump said that Jeb had to like immigrants because of his wife. Jeb should have jumped down Trump's throat for that on general principles, never mind because you have to hit in a political contest. He asked for an apology. Big whoop.
So when I see a handful of pieces about the Bush campaign's "civility"--I wouldn't actually call it that. The only good thing about his campaign was that it proved that campaign spending can only do so much for a poor candidate.