With Democrats someway keeping control of the Senate in a completely awful political environment, Donald Trump is getting the lion’s share of the blame.
So in fact he’s announcing his presidential candidacy tonight.
From media liberals and Democrats who can hardly imagine their luck to some conservative pundits and Republican politicians, the consensus is that Trump took the main target off an unpopular President Biden and made the election all about him.
He was at it again over the weekend, with screeds against Ron ‘DeSanctimonious’ and Glenn ‘Young Kin,’ not to say Fox, fake news and Old Crow Mitch McConnell, bringing back that slur about his wife, Coco Chow. Trump also claimed without evidence that there was voter fraud in Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly’s win over his guy, Blake Masters, when everyone knew (and endlessly explained) that mail ballots counted after Election Day could enable Democrats to catch up and possibly win.
HOW THE MEDIA MISSED WHAT BECAME A ROUGH NIGHT FOR TRUMP AND THE GOP
That Biden’s party could hold the Senate without next month’s Georgia runoff is remarkable. However the president sure would really like to have a 51st vote out of the Herschel Walker-Raphael Warnock runoff or Joe Manchin again becomes the Democrat with the largest nuclear weapon.
With 2020 hindsight it’s clear that what was lost in all of the red wave talk (which went far beyond Fox, as I showed on “Media Buzz”) is that younger people turned out in much greater numbers than expected, and that abortion rights drove turnout more forcefully amongst suburban white women and others.
There was also the preserving democracy argument, and President Biden’s prime-time speech on that issue, which I and others viewed as a missed opportunity while the country was focused on inflation and crime. Seems Biden could have motivated some folks to get on the market.
Every election denier who ran for secretary of state or top elections official was defeated. And there was ticket splitting, with a more conventional Republican like Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp winning by a big margin while Walker was held below 50 percent. There was a variety of hype about Trump-backed Tudor Dixon being in a good race, but Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer beat her by just over double digits.
Trump was back at it for his Arizona gubernatorial candidate, election denier Kari Lake, who could still win but has fallen a bit further behind as more votes are counted. He said “the good Kari Lake’s easy election win is slowly, yet systematically, being drained away from her,” as if there have been something nefarious about continuing the ballot count.
So how will Trump’s telegraphed announcement tonight play out? MSNBC and CNN are more likely to provide heavy coverage because they miss the Trumpian rankings of his presidency. The conservative media outlets and commentators – from the Recent York Post and Wall Street Journal to National Review and Washington Examiner, a few of which favor DeSantis, will criticize his candidacy from the suitable.
Mike Pence, who’s eyeing the race, said in an interview with ABC’s David Muir what everyone in America knows but that he hasn’t uttered until now:
“The president’s words were reckless and his actions were reckless,” Pence said of Trump tweeting that his VP “lacked the courage” to dam Biden’s Electoral College circulation.
“The president’s words that day on the rally endangered me and my family and everybody on the Capitol constructing,” Pence said. “I turned to my daughter, who was standing nearby, and I said, ‘It doesn’t take courage to interrupt the law. It takes courage to uphold the law.’”
RED WAVE? THE MEDIA GRAPPLE WITH AN UNDECIDED BATTLE FOR CONTROL OF CONGRESS
And hearken to Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, a onetime Trump ally, talking to AL.com:
“It could be a nasty mistake for the Republicans to have Donald Trump as their nominee in 2024. Donald Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a variety of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans.”
What gives? Brooks lost Trump’s endorsement and lost his primary. So can most Republicans only say such things once they’re leaving office.
But decelerate – we haven’t heard from the voters yet. For all of the times that the media have declared Trump finished, including after Jan. 6, his iron grip on the MAGA base has rescued him.
We don’t even know whether DeSantis will run, and if he does, he’s untested as a national candidate.
If Trump is the nominee, as I’ve been saying for a very long time, it’s much more likely that Biden will run because the only one who has beaten him. And all of the Democrats who’ve clamored for a younger candidate have yet to call the one who can beat Trump after a negative onslaught.The Recent York Times has an intriguing tackle this, provided that Biden is about to show 80. While the midterms gave the president a lift, party insiders are deeply fearful that Kamala Harris can’t win:
“While there are numerous other would-be contenders, none of them have impressed the president enough for him to feel comfortable turning the party over to them.
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“Some Democrats argue that this can be a situation of Mr. Biden’s own making, having didn’t successfully groom a possible successor, consciously or not making himself the indispensable man. But either way, it leaves many Democrats circling back to the conclusion that Mr. Biden stays the party’s most suitable option.“
I don’t think it was a Machiavellian plot, but when DeSantis or another next-generation Republican wins the nomination, the pressure on Biden to step aside or be primaried will grow.
Or we might even see a rematch in any case.