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The 'Odd Thing' a New York Times Staffer Found Hidden Deep Within the Technical Realm of Jeb Bush's Official Campaign Site That Was Taken Down an Hour Later


"I have no good explanation."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush listens to a speaker before giving his keynote address at the National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

An "odd thing" attracted notice on Jeb Bush's presidential campaign website Monday that held a little more mystery than the actual outcome of the former Florida governor's widely expected presidential announcement.

As the New York Times' Jeremy Bowers' pointed out on Twitter, the source coding on Bush's official campaign website,, contained an unexpected reference to the classic "Die Hard" movies.

The source coding, or the language website developers use to tell computers how to display any given page on a website, gave a brief synopsis of the film franchise, including that it was "starring Severus Snape" — a shoutout to "Harry Potter" actor Alan Rickman, who portrayed Bruce Willis foe Hans Gruber.

"Die Hard, also starring Severus Snape. The first film begins on Christmas Eve when McClane comes to reunite with separated wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) in Los Angeles at her company's Christmas party. Holly left to pursue her career with their two children and uses her maiden name," the summary began.

"Seems like an odd thing to include in the JS of your presidential announcement page," Bowers tweeted out Monday. "JS" refers to JavaScript, which is one type of computer coding language.

So, how in the world did Bowers ever discover this hidden gem? Montel Williams had the same question.

Bowers responded to Williams, "I have no good explanation. I check the source a lot. Library had a funny name. Lots of odd text. Set off my spidey sense."

But why did the Hollywood reference appear in the first place? Was it just to gain attention? Or was there something or someone purposefully behind it?

Bowers, a former Georgetown University website development professor, said it's likely neither.

Still, it's not the first time a presidential candidate's campaign website coding has drawn some eyes. As USA Today pointed out, Hillary Clinton's website source code showed blue H's and red arrows, which make up her official campaign logo.

Image source: via USA Today

And Rand Paul's website coding included a call for users to come and join the Kentucky Republican's technical team for his 2016 campaign.

Image source: via USA Today

Bush's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.

(H/T: New York Times)


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