Jeb Bush Goes After Die Hard Conservatives with Hidden JavaScript

Jeb Bush may have announced his candidacy, but he hasn’t taken a (barefoot) stand on broken glass

Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images

In what is probably the only 2016 presidential election story involving Alan Rickman, a curious block of text has shown up in a JavaScript file used by Jeb Bush’s campaign site. When he studied the code, Jeremy Bowers of the New York Times came across a summary of all five installations in the Die Hard franchise. As Bowers noted, this is “an odd thing to include” with a campaign announcement.

The page appears to have been amended since: Surveying its JavaScript now, one finds plaintext information about contributing to the campaign in both Spanish and English. Those hoping to read about the films will have to visit the franchise’s Wikipedia page, from which the summary seems to have been extracted. Nevertheless, Bush’s first official campaign video will likely go down in history for the encoded suggestion that it “also star[s] Severus Snape.”

While Bruce Willis—star of all five Die Hard films—is one of Hollywood’s few out and proud Republicans, it’s not clear whether he intends to support Jeb Bush’s candidacy. Bush, likewise, hasn’t taken a firm stance on his willingness to walk barefoot over broken glass for the American people. Maybe Bush is just hoping that, like the films, the presidency will remain a family affair. (John McClane Jr. is a major character in the most recent entry.)

To be sure, this isn’t the first time a presidential hopeful’s campaign launch has been marked by digital hiccups. When Ted Cruz announced his candidacy in March, he did so via a site with badly compromised security. And Carly Fiorina spent entirely too much time in May talking about her own “Domaingate.”