Wednesday, November 9, 2022

What Now for Trump?

Jack Newman’s article for the Daily Mail feels rather typical. Yesterday was not a great day for the Republican Party. It was not a great day for its putative leader, Donald Trump. And, of course, it was a great day for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. 

Whereas many of Trump’s chosen candidates showed themselves to be lesser vote-getters, DeSantis and his fellow Florida Republicans swept into power.

Clearly, Trump has been showing that he believes DeSantis to be the most significant obstacle to his restoration. Just as clearly, as most commentators have argued, Trump chose candidates and held numerous rallies in order to make it all about him. 

When Trump kept teasing an announcement next week, everyone was distracted from the elections. Did the distraction cause Democrats to vote, not for Republican candidates, but against Donald Trump.

Or, are the Republicans just looking for a convenient scapegoat:

Donald Trump is under fire from Republicans who blame their poorer than expected showing in the midterm elections on the controversial former president.

The GOP kingmaker endorsed around 300 candidates, held 30 rallies and raised millions of dollars, hoping to demonstrate his continued MAGA influence that could spark another bid for the White House.

But it appears his Midas touch is waning with many of his preferred candidates failing to win seats, although others such as JD Vance secured victory, with more results incoming.

Some have criticized Trump for foisting sub-standard candidates on the Party. Since Trump himself was a rank amateur who showed no respect for politicians, perhaps he was trying to prove a point-- he proposed a band of amateurs in order to vindicate his own presidency. If people who were  modeled on Trump could triumph, then perhaps it would prove him right and prove the politicians wrong.

Erick Erickson, a longtime GOP commentator, told the Washington Post: 'Candidate quality matters. 

'They weren't good candidates. They had more allegiance to him than anything else. The GOP might still win both [chambers] but this is not the night they expected.' 

Through these candidates, Trump drew attention to himself:

Bill Palatucci, a member of the Republican National Committee from New Jersey, said: 'Trump candidates were a drag on the party and the messaging of all our candidates.

'We were constantly having to distance ourselves from their support of the former president.' 

Trump's picks lost high-stakes contests in Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Hampshire. 

So, last night Trump threw a party for journalists and supporters. Doubtless he planned to emerge triumphant and to top off the evening by teasing his next candidacy:

After summoning reporters and his most loyal supporters to a watch party at his Mar-a-Lago club, he ended the night without a triumphant speech. 

Nonetheless, he took to his social media platform to insist he'd had 'A GREAT EVENING.' 

As they say, you win some and you lose some. Among Trump’s winning candidates were JD Vance and Ted Budd:

It wasn't all gloom for Trump, as he helped lift Republican Senate candidates to victory in Ohio and North Carolina. 

JD Vance, the bestselling author of 'Hillbilly Elegy,' defeated 10-term congressman Tim Ryan, while Rep. Ted Budd beat Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court. 

While campaigning for Vance on Monday, Trump teased an announcement for his presidential run.

'We want nothing to detract from the importance of tomorrow. You understand that,' Trump said at a rally. 

'I'm going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, November 15,' he added, saying the announcement would come at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida

Now, we will see what happens on November 15. Don’t be surprised if Trump postpones his announcement. 

Longtime GOP strategist Douglas Heye told Trump was a distraction for many voters.

He said: 'When someone says they don't want to detract, get ready for some detracting.

'Trump is all about Trump and after months of being on the sidelines - good months for Republicans - Trump had to make it all about him. Again.' 

Whereas Ronald Reagan had declared that Republicans should never speak ill of another Republican, Donald Trump is happy to violate this commandment. Before last night he was getting ready to go on the attack against Ron DeSantis:

For his part, Trump sees the danger and has been firing shots across the governor's bows.

At a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump unveiled a new nickname for him: 'Ron DeSanctimonious.' 

And on Monday he issued a veiled threat.

'I don't know that he's running. I think if he runs he could hurt himself very badly, I really believe he could hurt himself badly,' said Trump.

He went on hint he was ready to go on the attack with personal details. 

'But if he did run I could tell you things bout him that won't be very flattering. I know more about him other than perhaps his wife - who's really running about his campaign. 

Ready to get down into the gutter with DeSantis, Trump now has the chance to change his mind. I will not try to offer any further interpretation, but I am curious to read what some of you think of it all.


Anonymous said...

In Michigan, Trump’s support of Tudor Dixon in the primary cost us the better candidates of Ryan Kelley or Garret Soldano. We got two look-alike women running, one of whom was successfully tied to his Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Combine that with the Detroit Machine and Republicans lost. I wish he had stayed out of it in August.

Ralph said...

I sense anecdotally a moving away from Trump and toward Desantis as how to govern. Trump had his moment. I do think we would have done better to re elect him, but the circumstances are different, the variables have changed. If we had a big wave, Biden and Harris would probably be done in by their own. This will put pressure on them to run for reelection. If possible, 8 years of Desantis would be better than 4 of a lame duck. The idea of a Trump/Desantis ticket seems more of a long shot now. the We may be better off having a small majority which keeps pressure on the dems for the coming recession. Desantis is a leader who is smart and competent and displays integrity. He seems to choose similar people. integrity requires discerment, for example, calling up a variety of medical/epidemiological people for a conference before deciding civic policies. Jay Bhattacharya said he had never dealt with such a well informed politician. Desantis does his homework. Both Biden and Trump are waning.

hayek said...

If I was an electorate of one, DeSantis would be the next President. Trump, unfortunately, is poison.

BobJustBob said...

While I would vote for him again I do think Trump has been tarred with so much crap (justly and unjustly) that he should see the writing on the wall and put his time, money and full support behind DeSantis. Now the interesting part is what happens when DeSantis gets treated like trump was and smeared by lies. Do we abandon him for some magical candidate? Personally I think that the Untied States as it was constituted is done. Democrats have perfected the in the open steal and the GOPe seems unwilling or unable to counter it.

BobJustBob said...

hayek...what will you do when they poison DeSantis? And they will.

Ralph said...

DeSantis is more difficult project. Trump could be his own worse enemy often. DeSantis seems to avoid that. So far, because he had a Disney wedding, so he's a retroactive hypocrite, I guess.

Walt said...

Trump is in his “Apres moi, le deluge” phase. If he announces on Nov 15 he could well tip the predicted Georgia runoff against Walker. Enough. His policies were great but his ego is an explosive device.

Anonymous said...

Most people do not understand the Trump phenomenon. They in fact have it backwards. The Tea Party was destroyed by Democrats and Rino's because they didn't want grass roots picking candidates or interfering in their payola and corruption. Those same Tea Party people rallied around Trump because of his positions and even his snarky comments. Trump didn't create his followers his followers chose him. Yes they could decide to Choose DeSantis but NOT because of Trumps honest (thus mean) tweets. They like Trump giving the communist/Democrat party shit. If Trump and DeSantis both run for president we will end up with a Democrat president, probably Newsom. If either Trump or Desantis runs unopposed we have a chance of a Republican president (but only if they can get election cheating under control). Simple as that. If Trump chooses to Run DeSantis should choose to be the governor and not the spoiler.

It is more likely that the corruption will grow and future elections will be meaningless. I think we are being pushed to the brink and it is intentional. I think international players are intent on destroying America or at least emasculating us. The same people are destroying Europe. This will end in WW III. There is no other option, just a matter of when.

Anonymous said...

I am so fed up with Trump that I can't even describe it. For the 2016 election he seemed to be an energized ray of hope for America. Yes, he did a long list of very good things for the country. But I can longer overlook his toxicity, ego, and unnecessary personal attacks (which have been unending since he was first elected). His latest comments about DeSantis are outrageous and unbelievable. He also crowed about the loss of a potential GOP Senator (O'Dea) in CO yesterday! What?? What greater proof can there be that it is ever and only about him, and that he can be happy to see us lose a Senator, in this environment! He will never be a team player. I fervently wish for him to disappear (fade away) and STFU. And I don't think I am alone.

Ralph said...

I agree with Walt. It isn't just this election. Myself and those around me that have supported Trump, have been saying for a while we hope he doesn't run again. He did a lot of good, but obviously it was just a temporary stop gap. We can be thankful Putin is in charge in Russia. Call me proRussia, but Putin is not interested in destroying the world, but he is interested in a new world alignment, which is happening. His speech with a 4 hour question session is interesting. He's basically Trump to his country.