I don’t think his problem is “molasses,” as T. Boone Pickens put it, but extreme awkwardness on stage and before the cameras. See Patti Wood (body language expert) on CNN at around 2:25 pm today. Jeb should watch it before the debate. It’s only a couple minutes long. I totally concur with her assessment. I would add that smiling is good but it has to be or at least look genuine. Right now it just looks like he’s smiling out of sheer nervousness. I don’t think he watched any of the Wayne movies; at least, nothing seems to have rubbed off. If there’s one thing Wayne had on screen it’s poise, which Jeb lacks right now. I’m not saying he should be somebody he isn’t; the whole point is he needs to be himself precisely by relaxing. Himself, but poised. Once he warms up, he does great; he just has to warm up faster. I listened to his speech at the Reagan library. He was really wonderful — by the end. But it took him almost forever to get there. In this sense, I do concur with Pickens’s molasses assessment.

If it’s too late for this debate, he should keep it in mind for next one. His people should really be working with him on this sort of stuff. Again: poise. No fidgeting or awkward movements or nervous smiling or halting comments, etc.



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