Pizza and politics

Spencer Payne and Teddy Corcoran

Five years ago, Domino’s Pizza was suffering mightily. Its stock price was low, hovering around $14. But worse yet, its brand and food quality were laughable. An order of Domino’s pizza was more often a drunken regret than a good idea. Of course, all of this changed when Domino’s launched a new line of self-deprecating ads in 2010.

The “Pizza Turnaround” campaign pulled no punches. Domino’s freely announced, “our pizza sucks,” in one commercial, and that “it’s the worse excuse for a pizza I have ever had” in another. The company openly admitted that it had made mistakes and vowed to fix them, ultimately unveiling a new recipe to better serve customers.

What does this have to do with politics? Well, if you happen to be Jeb Bush, everything. Just eight years ago, Jeb’s brother, George, racked up almost $12 trillion in national debt and left the White House with just under a 35 percent approval rating. Those are facts. So while people have mixed opinions about the W’s presidency, it would be difficult for anyone describe his time in the oval office as a resounding success.

To date, Jeb (an avid reader of the Phi, so we take no issue addressing him by name) has remained largely defensive of his brother’s presidency—saying, for example, that his brother’s post 9/11 efforts “unified the country.” But while this decision may strike some as an admirable demonstration of loyalty, others are not so impressed. In fact, many believe that, in the words of Donald Trump, “the last thing this country needs is another Bush.”

Jeb has looked flat in debates and speeches—coming across as a nice guy, but one who seems a bit stuffy and, dare we say, awkward. This shortcoming is reflected in the polls where, according the Huffington Post (the most trusted name in political polling), Jeb currently sits in fourth place.

“A lot of people seem to think that Jeb just doesn’t have what it takes,” said Conor Ridlon, ‘18, state chair for Mock Convention’s New Hampshire delegation.

What we’re getting at is that the Bush brand is lacking in popularity and is in desperate need of a turnaround. Sound familiar?

Cue the Domino’s theory: criticize yourself and admit that you need to change. We’re looking at you, Jeb. Stop holding the reins so tightly and let some of that family pride go.

This change might not be easy, and perhaps it is not the appropriate way to treat family. But come on, Jeb, you’re trying to win a presidential election here! It’s time to change.

Toss that darn brother of yours under the bus and admit the economy struggled under his administration. Or, better yet, make some jokes about yourself.

Acknowledge that you’re not as charismatic or inspiring as you try to be. Loosen up a bit and admit that the Bush’s haven’t always had the Midas touch in the past. Then make a reinvigorated stand for whatever the heck it is that you believe in.

Sure, convincing the electorate that you have changed will be a difficult task. But then again, so is convincing customers that you have improved your recipe.

So Jeb, listen here. If you are truly going to turn a new page, you are going to have to admit that the old page was riddled with errors. Reinvent yourself. It will not only make you more likable, but it will show that you’re willing to learn from your family’s mistakes.

The price of Domino’s stock has increased by over 600 percent in the past five years. Imagine what a similar approach could do for those poll numbers.

“The proof is in the pudding,” said Matt Kordonowy, ‘16. “Or, in this case, pizza pies.”

Your move, Jeb. We hear Domino’s delivers in 30 minutes or less.