By now, it should be standard operating procedure for anyone mounting a political campaign to have a website. For that, you need a catchy, easy to remember website address otherwise known as a domain name or “URL” (Uniform Resource Locator). A number of companies offer domain registrations, and web addresses can be reserved for as little as $9 a year.
But it’s also standard operating procedure to buy up not only the address you really want, but everything else like it, so no one else can use it for bogus fundraising or other nefarious ends.
In campaigns spending millions of dollars a month on advertising, don’t you think paying fifteen bucks a year to park a few web addresses makes sense?
Apparently not if you’re Jeb Bush.
If you type in jebbush.com today, you’ll be redirected to Donald Trump’s official campaign site.
The Washington Post says as early as December of last year, jebbush.com was redirecting to Trump’s site. Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Wall Street Journal that they’re not responsible for JebBush.com, though no doubt they’re quietly thanking whoever is. (The page’s current owner has been kept private by domain registrar Fabulous.com.)
But clearly, Bush knew he was going to be running for president a very long time ago, so don’t you think his team might have thought about buying up the address? His official campaign site is jeb2016.com, but I can tell you from past experience working on Allen West’s campaigns that we bought up all the iterations we could think of to make sure this exact thing wouldn’t happen.
If you have any interest in branding yourself for any reason, buying your own name does seem to make sense. I have mine. Jeb Bush is certainly in a much bigger league than I am– but after this whoopsie, it seems at least his campaign team is solidly in the “bush-league.”
Now in full disclosure, I will say we tried to obtain allenwest.com for this website, but it is already owned by someone else. However, at this point it doesn’t matter, because Col. West isn’t running for any office. Yet.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]