After coming in fourth in New Hampshire with a slim 11 percent of the vote, Jeb Bush needed a strong performance in South Carolina. The Palmetto state didn’t come through, even with cameos on the campaign trail by George W., and Jeb conceded defeat tonight in a speech to supporters. His campaign suffered a huge blow on Wednesday when South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gave her endorsement to Marco Rubio. “We felt we had some momentum after New Hampshire. And Jeb was feeling good about his brother. But it wasn’t as good as we thought it would be. Then this happened,” one close Bush supporter told Politico’s Eli Stokols. Combined with sparse attendance at campaign events and dwindling cash on hand, the outlook was grim.
With the Bush clan gathered in South Carolina, they watched Jeb speed through a tough concession speech. A political dynasty ended not with a bang, but with choked-back tears and a whimper.