Jeb Bush's campaign website contains a 'Die Hard' surprise

jeb bush

There is a surprise buried deep in the source code of Jeb Bush's campaign website, which went live on Monday as the former Florida governor announced he was running for president.

The website's source code contains, of all things, written synopses of all five "Die Hard" movies, along with a few other inside jokes that were likely inserted by the website's developers.

A website's source code is essentially a set of instructions that determine page layout, image display and website functionality. It's written in a computer language -- in this case, javascript -- and often runs for thousands of lines.

The "Die Hard" references were first noticed by Jeremy Bowers of the New York Times, who tweeted that it "seemed like an odd thing" to include in a presidential announcement page.

Here's a small sample: "At the fictional Nakatomi Plaza, East German terrorists break in and take the celebrants hostage. McClane escapes detection and hides throughout the building. He kills off the gang and learns their real aim, to steal millions in bearer bonds from the building vault."

bush twitter

The synopses, which appear to have been copied from Wikipedia, are accompanied by commentary from the code's authors. The first film, for example, is described as "also starring Severus Snape" -- a reference to the actor Alan Rickman, who played the villain in "Die Hard" as well as Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" films.

Before the description of the fifth film, the code's authors write: "Please God just let this franchise die."

The Bush campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While the "Die Hard" references feel out of place, it is not unusual for developers to leave inside jokes or hidden messages buried in website code. In fact, they're referred to as "Easter Eggs" in the programming community.

Some Easter Eggs are well known -- and highly entertaining. For example, if a user types "about:robots" into a Mozilla browser's address bar, the program returns a message that reads: "Welcome Humans! We have come to visit you in peace and with goodwill!"

Google has more than a few. Just try typing "tilt," "do a barrel roll," "recursion," "anagram," "once in a blue moon," or "answer to life the universe and everything" into the search engine.

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