Now that Jeb Bush has officially launched his presidential bid, Sen. Joni Ernst has a very specific campaign suggestion for him.Seven candidates -- Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham (!), Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee -- showed up at Ernst's gathering on June 6, but only Walker actually rode with Ernst. The candidates delivered short speeches and set up booths; a few of them got into the spirit of the thing, in their own fashion:
Ernst, an Iowa Republican, invited Bush for a motorcycle ride on the day of his White House campaign launch, saying she would welcome him to the first-in-the-nation caucus state "with open arms."
On June 6, Ernst got the chance to see Bush's competition during her inaugural "Roast and Ride" barbecue and motorcycle event for presidential hopefuls. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the proud owner of a Harley Road King, stole the spotlight while Bush celebrated his mother's 90th birthday in Maine.
"I'd love to see him on a Harley," Ernst said Monday of Bush. "So if he wants to come in and ride a Harley, I'll get him hooked up."
“I love a senator who knows how to castrate a pig, ride a hog and cut the pork from Washington, D.C.,” Walker said, referencing an Ernst ad from her 2014 Senate race in which she discussed castrating hogs and making Washington “squeal.” “Wouldn’t it be nice if she had an ally in the White House to help get the job done?”Oh, stop snickering. Perry, we're told, "was constantly surrounded by bikers and veterans, following a charity motorcycle ride he did to benefit an organization that provides service dogs to wounded veterans."
... Graham, the South Carolina senator who opened his address in Boone with one joke after another, said of Ernst, “Joni rocks ... She promised to make people [in Washington] squeal. They’re squealing. Mainly the men,” before going on to praise her military service.
See, this is the kind of thing I can't imagine Bush doing without looking like Mike Dukakis in the tank. Does it matter? He missed this event, and he's got enough money for it not to matter, but will there be other events like this at which he can't even fake getting down and dirty? (Hell, even Hillary can drink shots with blue-collar retirees, as we learned in '08.) I think Jeb might have some problems with this going forward. And given the silly way we pick presidents, it might matter.