The media has been bracing for the first official 2016 presidential candidate to announce his or her run, and Tuesday it got its wish.
I am excited to announce I will actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States: https://t.co/luY4lCF2cA.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 16, 2014
Sure, Jeb Bush — the younger brother of former President George W. Bush and the son of former President George H. W. Bush — didn’t officially declare he’s running, but that didn’t stop the media from going absolutely bonkers.
Bush penned the above tweet at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. At 10:11 a.m. ET, MSNBC’s José Díaz-Balart covered the segment; at 10:12 a.m. ET Fox News was on the story; CNN started covering Bush 3.0 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
The Bush bonanza went on throughout the day, with CNN, Fox News and MSNBC leading most of their programs with news of Bush’s quasi-presidential run announcement. It should be noted, the nets chose to lead with news about Bush’ tweet over the tragic killing of 132 children at a Pakistan school at the hands of the Taliban.
The media’s collective glee spread to primetime.
“Suddenly the 2016 presidential election campaign is underway,” Chris Matthew said on “Hardball” at 7 p.m. ET. “No more, will he or won’t he, Jeb Bush is in the race for president. This is a game changer today.”
“Jeb is in…well maybe, a little bit in,” Greta Van Susteren led her show at 7 p.m. ET. “The race for the White House is officially on,” Sean Hannity said at 10 p.m. ET, then interviewing Karl Rove, who was the main strategist responsible for getting Jeb’s brother elected president.
“Today, Jeb Bush, told us something we already knew: that he’s thinking about running for president, which translated from politicians speak, I’m running for president,” Lawrence O’Donnell said at 10 p.m. ET.
The Bush frenzy spread into Wednesday, with “Morning Joe,” “New Day” and “Fox and Friends” all dedicating lengthy amounts of times to the Bush tweet. Social media also exploded off of the Bush tweet, with hashtag #JebBushCampaignSlogans trending after the Bush tweet went live.
White and male. Just like our Jesus. #JebBushCampaignSlogans
— case_case (@CaseCasefry) December 16, 2014
The Bush 2016 train has slowed down in the media mid-Wednesday morning as cable and digital news has pivoted to the release of American contractor Alan Gross from Cuba and President Obama’s statement on the exchange.
With Bush’s tweet all but announcing his run, expect the media timeline for wall-to-wall coverage of 2016 to move up, with most networks beginning to cover who’s going to run/not run beginning in early 2015.