Saturday, March 12, 2022

Trump's star is fading. Trump’s endorsement may not be enough for Ortagus and other candidates across America.

Donald Trump’s Outside Tennessee Pick May Meet Resistance

By Anderson Cox, Review the Day, March 11, 2022 - Donald Trump endorsed Morgan Ortagus for the Tennessee House seat in February. However, running under Trump’s endorsement may not be enough as Ortagus doesn’t meet the qualifications. According to legislation, anyone running for such a position should live in the state for a minimum of three years. Ortagus has lived in Tennessee for one year. ... 

Furthermore, some Tennessee Republicans are annoyed that an endorsement by Trump should guarantee anyone the right to represent their party. ... State Sen. Frank Niceley said in an interview, “I voted for Trump. I supported him.”

“I’ll vote for Trump as long as he lives. But I don’t want him coming out here to tell me who to vote for,” he added. ... Local Republican activist Rick Williams said, “I think he was told by people this was a candidate he should endorse, and he did. I’m not sure he’s too aware of the pushback he’s getting here now.”  Williams co-chaired Trump’s presidential campaign before but now supports Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. (link

 2022 elections: Trump-endorsed candidates struggle with fundraising

By Paul Steinhauser | Fox News, - ... ... But Trump’s fundraising prowess is not magically transferring to many of the candidates he’s endorsed in the 2022 election cycle. ... Former Sen. David Perdue announced on Monday night that he brought in $1.146 million in first 56 days of his gubernatorial campaign as he primary challenges conservative Gov. Brian Kemp. Perdue was dramatically outraised by Kemp, who, as Fox News first reported last month, raked in over $7 million during the second half of 2021. ... In Arizona, Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake touted her "historic grassroots" fundraising. But Lake’s 2021 haul of $1.5 million trailed four other GOP candidates also vying for their party’s nomination. ... Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict the former president in his 2021 impeachment trial, more than doubled the fundraising last quarter of Trump-backed GOP challenger Kelly Tshibaka. (For more examples of Trump-backed GOP primary candidates failing to raise money, follow this link.)

Tennessee Republicans revolt against Trump's outsider pick for House seat

By Allan Smith, NBC News, March 10, 2022, - When Morgan Ortagus announced her bid for a House seat in Tennessee last month, she did so with former President Donald Trump’s “complete and total endorsement” — a surefire way for a GOP candidate to quickly become competitive in a crowded field.

But it's what she doesn’t have that may prevent her from even qualifying for the primary ballot: a track record in the state. ... coupled with a feeling among some in the GOP that Trump’s endorsement essentially served as an anointment, has irked some state and local Republicans enough to mount a significant challenge to her candidacy (link)

Trump’s support hasn’t saved this Senate candidate from weak poll numbers and poor fundraising: report .... In North Carolina’s 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary, Rep. Ted Budd has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. But that endorsement, according to Politico reporter Natalie Allison, hasn’t saved Budd from weak poll numbers and poor fundraising. (link)

Donald Trump’s Crown Is Starting to Slip by Alex Shephard, The New Republic, March 11, 2022 - Shortly after Texas’s Republican primary polls closed last Tuesday, Donald Trump declared victory—for himself. “All 33 Trump-Endorsed candidates won last night in Texas, or are substantially leading,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “Big night! How will the Fake News make it look bad?”

Trump was, true to form, overstating his success—most of the candidates he had endorsed were running unopposed. But he was repeating a familiar boast. (link)


 Trump's star is fading

by Rod Williams, March 12, 2022 -  It appears to me that Trump's star is fading. While Trump is still popular with the Republican base, they are not loyalists who will blindly follow Trump anywhere.  In the case of the Ortagus candidacy in Tennessee, either Trump miscalculated or was poorly advised or he has such an oversized ego that he thinks he is more loved than he really is.  

Another indication that Trump supporters are not mindless Trump enthusiasts who will jump if he says "jump," is that his much-touted Twitter and Facebook alternative called Truth Social has generated little public enthusiasm and has had a lackluster rollout. I must have had an annoying fifteen phone text messages trying to persuade me to join.  I have not and will only do so if most of the people I now see on Facebook have made the switch. 

While most Republican politicians will still not dare to appear to disagree with Trump and many cowardly will not counter the Trump lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and as of today, if Trump was to run again in 2024, he would win the nomination, that could change. 

My view is that one reason Trump is as popular as he is is that by comparison to Biden he looks pretty good.  Everything Biden touches he breaks. Biden has brought us the largest inflation in forty years, has renewed the crisis at the southern border, brought about new massive debt, and advocated for the much more massive debt that so far has been blocked, reversed American energy independence, left Afghanistan in a humiliating rout that turned the country back over to the Taliban, saw China grow stronger,  and failed to deter Russia from invading Ukraine. People compare now to the recent past and the recent past was Donald Trump and many conclude that things were better. That will only carry Trump so far, however.  The choice is not Trump or Biden, but Biden or someone who is not Biden. 

I am hoping Trump's star does fade. I am disgusted with Trump's support for the January 6th attempted coup and Trump's continuing claim that the 2020 election was stolen. I could not again vote for Donald Trump. As much as I detest Democrats and do not see a circumstance in which I could support a Democrat, I can not vote for Donald Trump. At least in Tennessee, thanks to the electoral college, not voting for Trump is not tantamount to a vote for Joe Biden or, if not Joe Biden, whoever the Democrat nominee may be. Tennessee is not likely to be in play.  My vote won't matter.

Despite Trump's popularity now, I would not bet on Trump being near as popular a year from now. More information will likely come out about January 6th that will paint Trump in a bad light. Also, if Trump's endorsed candidates fail to win elections, Trump's strong man image of invincibility with be tarnished. Once that happens, potential challengers of Donald Trump will stop trembling in fear of Trump's retribution if they publicly criticize the former president. Sanity will return to the Republican Party.  We are already seeing former vice-president Mike Pence split with the former president and be bolder in his criticism of Trump. Also, people formerly close to the president, such as former Attorney General Bill Barr are criticizing Trump.  Most recently Barr said Trump is not 'my idea of a president' because of his 'pettiness' and 'obnoxious behavior.' Once Republican public figures start criticizing Trump, the next public figure wanting to do so will be emboldened. 

Also, the war in Ukraine could hurt Trump's image. While I do not think Trump is an apologist for Putin, Trump does not set the right tone. His praise of Putin's intelligence may, in the minds of many, put Trump in the same camp as people like Moscow Carlson. Many of Trump's most enthusiastic supporters are Putin Republicans and many will perceive Trump to be a Putin Republican unless he changes his tone and separates his view from the views of people like Tucker Carlson.  Despite Carlson's popularity among Fox News viewers, Putin Republicans are a slim minority of all Republicans; most Republicans are patriots and love freedom.

Nothing drastic has to happen to cause the Republican Party to return to sanity.  There does not have to be purges and angry fights.  Trump does not have to die or be imprisoned. Trump supporters do not have to say they were wrong for supporting Trump and never-Trumpers do not have to apologize. New issues and new personalities will become important as yesterday becomes less important. Yesterday's adversaries can be tomorrow's allies. The Party is big enough for Trumpinistas and never-Trumpers. All that needs to happen is for Trump's star to fade. Let Trump's endorsed candidates lose elections, let his venture into social media flop, let him fail to fill venues at Trump rallies, and Little by little it will happen. 

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