Jeb Bush Pays a Price for Failing to Register JebBush.com

The once-mighty presidential candidate just can’t catch a break.

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

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Jeb Bush has a web problem. The Republican presidential candidate has been using Jeb2016.com as his main campaign website. But as the Daily Caller noticed on Monday, visitors to a more intuitive URL for the Bush campaign will find themselves at a rival’s site.

If you type JebBush.com into your web browser, it’ll automatically redirect you to DonaldJTrump.com, the official website for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. It’s unclear whether this fun bit of trolling comes from the Trump campaign itself, or just an overzealous fan of The Donald.

Last year I dug into how the huge crop of Republican presidential hopefuls had been slacking when it came to the all-important task of locking down domain names before opponents could snap them up. (If you doubt the significance of staking out your web presence as a presidential candidate, I point you to one Santorum, Rick.) Here’s what I found for Bush’s web savvy last May:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also in rough shape should he decide to run in 2016. His logical campaign web address would be JebBush.com, but that website is currently blank. It’s registered anonymously, so perhaps someone in Jeb’s orbit owns the domain. But the last time it showed up on the Wayback Machine was in March 2008, when the domain automatically redirected to jeb-bush.blogspot.com. That website clearly has no relationship to the former Florida governor. An author going by the name Ryan Braun (possibly a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder?) writes bizarre parody stories. It hasn’t been updated since February 2012, but back then blogger Braun was writing posts such as “President Obama Plans on Plying Republicans with Liquor to Get Budget Passed” and “Mitt Romney Camp Hires Renowned Chuckle Coach.”

JebBush2016.com is currently sitting unused and has been registered to a New Yorker named Benny Thottam, who had an impressive amount of foresight. “In 2007 I thought of Jeb Bush being a solid candidate for 2016 election,” he told Mother Jones by email. “I do hope that he will run and I am very open about voting for him.”

Thottam doesn’t seem to have ever worked things out with the official Bush campaign, since JebBush2016.com is currently just a blank placeholder GoDaddy page. As for JebBush.com, that old blogger likely turned parody stories into a large profit. Earlier this year, CNN reported that the domain was up for sale at a $250,000 price tag. That must have been too yuuuge a cost for Bush.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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