June 4, 2023


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It’s quiet out there in the 2024 GOP race, too darn quiet – HotAir

3 min read
It's quiet out there in the 2024 GOP race, too darn quiet – HotAir

Politico Magazine has an interesting take on the 2024 race for president, such as it is at this very early moment. Granted there’s only one declared candidate in the race so far but you may have noticed that even people on the right aren’t exactly flocking to endorse him. It’s just sort of quiet out there.

Only one GOP senator — the former football coach last heard claiming Democrats support reparations for “people that do the crime” — is endorsing the former president, ostensible frontrunner and heretofore leader of the Republican Party. Trump defenders like Rick Scott, Josh Hawley and Lindsey Graham are silent. Ted Cruz, who in September said “the whole world will change depending on what Donald Trump decides,” is now biding his time, and his decision on whether to run may be the best barometer for Trump’s invincibility.

In the House, Kevin McCarthy, whose hopes to become speaker depend on a far-right faction of Trumpists, also won’t endorse the man he once placated at every turn. Steve Scalise, McCarthy’s deputy and the most likely fallback speaker, is similarly mute about Trump 2024.

And in the ranks of governors, the one who handed him a likeness of his image on Mount Rushmore, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and another who was vaulted to Fox News stardom by serving in his White House, Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas, are withholding their support.

The Great Gaze Aversion of 2022 is a reminder that, in politics, what’s not being said can be more revealing than what is…

“I’m still not convinced he’s all-in,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told me by way of explaining why Trump’s onetime loyalists, himself included, are on the sidelines. “Losing another election could be very damaging to his pride. It’s all so unsettled.”…

“He’s not an imminent or presumed nominee, people are going to keep their powder dry,” said Cramer.

Jonathan Martin’s own explanation is that people are worried Trump is going to be indicted and that’s why they’re hesitating to get on board his candidacy. Maybe there’s something too that but I don’t think it’s the major issue. The major issue is that people can read polls. As David pointed out this morning, Trump isn’t drawing the kind of overwhelming support he was a few months ago. And it’s no secret that the person rivaling him or beating him in these recent polls is Gov. Ron DeSantis. People are probably hesitant to commit when it looks like the ground may have shifted. Simply put, I think a lot of people don’t really believe Trump can win again and if he can’t there’s no benefit to taking his side before anyone else has even entered the race.

The situation is different on the Democratic side and yet Democrats also have some tough decisions to make. Biden is the frontrunner if he decides to run again but so far he hasn’t said he’s definitely in. The real selling point of another Biden term for a lot of Democrats is that, whatever else he’s done or failed to do, he’s shown that he can beat Trump. But what happens if Trump isn’t the nominee? Does anyone really think that Biden can beat Ron DeSantis? And if not, who is the younger Democratic candidate who can come off the bench for team blue? Kamala Harris? [Insert sustained cackle here.] Pete Buttigieg? As we’ve discussed before, one of the reasons Biden is the default pick is that there really doesn’t seem to be anyone else who could credibly win. That’s a problem because he just turned 80 years old and at that age making big plans for six years out is, shall we say, somewhat optimistic.

There are lots of calculating politicians just waiting to see what happens before they commit themselves one way or the other. So for now, it’s pretty quiet out there.

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