“Jeb Bush’s Campaign as Sports Metaphor,” by Calvin Trillin of the Nation. Published on February 25, 2016.
Calvin Trillin’s article, “Jeb Bush’s Campaign as Sports Metaphor (2016),” asserts that Jeb Bush did not hold the rugged strength and mindset to be successful on the campaign trail. Trillin develops this argument by concisely introducing the idea of Jeb Bush as a peaceful tennis player competing against other athletes, who actually happen to be wrestlers. Trillin’s purpose is to use Bush’s recent drop-out as an example of why he wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the presidency. Because of its sharp criticism, Trillin’s audience is assumed to be directly Bush, but also politics-engaged readers.
In one 6-5-6-5 stanza, Trillin is able to invoke a tone of criticism. First, it is important to identify that as a result of the title, in which Bush’s name is stated, that Trillin is talking directly to the presidential candidate. In this first line, Trillin begins his metaphor by describing Bush as a tennis-player, which can carry several connotations. Such descriptors may include an upper-class, country-club tennis player, expecting to win the match. This image will most likely trigger a sense of disgust in the reader. But, as told by the second line, Bush “came up short.” This phrase, which is commonly used in the sports realm, adds to the effect of analogizing the loss of a party nomination as a loss of a sporting event. Trillin uniquely describes the 2016 Presidential Election as a “wrestling match;” if you do not have the proper mental and physical strength to combat the punches and kicks from other candidates (ahem, Donald Trump), you will not come out of the ring without bruises and a loss.