Going into the latest debate, the trending question about Jeb Bush on Google was whether he was “still running for president.”
The answer is yes, and on Tuesday night, he tried, yet again, to put an exclamation point on it.
After a week of fresh attention to the rococo psychology of the Bush dynasty, after huddles with new media advisers, after countless requiems for his campaign, Bush gave this troubled, increasingly quixotic quest of his one more shot, maybe his last.
He insisted on speaking time.
He sarcastically expressed gratitude to Donald Trump for saying that he should get some.
“Thank you, Donald, for allowing me to speak at the debate,” Bush said, and for perhaps the first time in one of these debates, he didn’t sound entirely self-pitying. He sounded nervy. “What a generous man you are,” he told Trump.