Jeb Bush has a cold. "I'm losing my voice, which is not a great sign, but we'll get through this," he tells the employees gathered in the cafeteria of Nationwide Insurance here.
We'll get through this -- kind of a melancholy epigraph for the Bush 2016 campaign, don't you think? Bush on the campaign trail exudes a kind of nerdy decency, or maybe decent nerdiness -- whatever. It's appealing, but jarringly out of step with the angry, high-decibel atmosphere of this campaign season.
Bush launches into his remarks, complimenting Iowans on having the least credit card debt per individual of any state, and then he really gets going.
"All other issues pale in comparison if we don't deal with the structural deficits that we face," he says. Between coughs and sips from a water bottle, he touches on "historical run rates" and the prospect of debt service under rising interest rates. "Imagine if we got to 300 basis points more," he observes.