I have to admit, I haven’t seen Jeb Bush in action before so watching his campaign announcement was interesting … and strangely odd. He’s got some weird mannerisms, the most pronounced is how he continuously looks off into space or turns inward, as if he’s suddenly not there. It didn’t take long for it to really distract me, especially during enthusiastic applause. It’s in those moment most any other candidate would feel the charge and really tune in to the crowd, not tune out.
Was it nerves, anxiousness, inhibition? Taking screenshots, I captured instance after instance, although they tend to look the same. It’s easier to see, though, if you watch him closely in the video. Over and over again, he delivers his lines, then he checks out.
After, I wondered if this behavior was specific to the announcement speech. After all, you don’t launch a presidential candidacy every day. Looking through recent photo galleries, however, I found variation on the theme.
Finally, I remembered that the recent New Yorker cover caricatured the GOP candidates. I just couldn’t remember how illustrator Mark Ulriksen portrayed Bush. How odd, then, to find it and take a closer look. While most of the other candidates are attention seeking or at least outwardly focused, there’s Jeb staring into space.
At this point, by the way, I don’t have much sense for what it means.
(image 1 and 2: screenshots/C-SPAN. photo 3: Joe Raedle/Getty Images. caption: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and possible Republican presidential candidate speaks to the media after addressing the Rick Scott’s Economic Growth Summit held at the Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center on June 2, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Many of the leading Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to speak during the event. photo 4: Axel Schmidt/Getty Images. caption: Former Florida Governor and possible Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush attends the CDU Economics Conference of the Economic Council on June 09, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The Economic Council (Wirtschaftsrat der CDU e.V.) is a German business association representing the interests of more than 11,000 small and medium sized firms, as well as larger multinational companies. image 5: illustration — Mark Ulriksen for The New Yorker.)