Jeb Bush may be the hardest working candidate out there, a constant presence on the town hall and fundraising circuit. This week alone he was in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
But Bush, the self-styled "joyful tortoise," keeps getting attacked by Donald Trump as "low-energy." Morning Joe Scarborough actually posed it as a serious question today.
"Are you doing that just to provoke him or do you really think the fact that you say he's a low energy would prevent him from being an effective president?" Scarborough asked Trump.
"You know, I like him," Trump replied. "He's a nice person. He is a low energy person. There's no question about it. And, you know, I think we need much more than a low energy person right now to put this country back in shape. We need tremendous energy and tremendous smarts and tremendous cunning and all of the things that other countries have."
Jeb world is supposedly irked by the low-energy stuff and it showed in Bush's town hall in Pensacola on Wednesday. "We need leadership in Washington, D.C. High-energy leadership," the former governor said.
Trump is playing to Bush's steady, wonky demeanor not his work ethic. While Bush has tried to show more passion on the stump, he's seeking to avoid the anger-driven campaign of Trump, Ted Cruz and a handful of other Republicans and present an optimisitc vision for America.
That may prove the best strategy — Marco Rubio is doing the same — but Bush wasn't counting on Trump, whose outlandish behavior is manna for Morning Joe and the rest of the cable news circuit.