All you have to do to get a good laugh at the Republican presidential field of also-rans is turn to on any of funnier progressive pundit scribes or any of the Democratic or progressive podcasts. Now, in their more serious (or more centrist) incarnations, pundits are saying that the GOP D-List that’s officially running for president all want to raise their profiles for a different higher office, or are vying to be vice president for the presumed nominee. (As if anyone as petty, shallow, and vindictive as Donald Trump would even think about making anyone who had the temerity to run against him his VP candidate!)
The A-List Republicans — New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Florida Senator Rick Scott, Utah Senator Mitt Romney — knew it would be folly to run for president while Trump is still viable. They had no desire to mud-wrestle with a pig, to be blunt; that would get them nowhere and tarnish their reputations. They’re waiting until there have been enough Trump election losses to break the MAGA fever. Two other A-Listers, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, know they’re way too progressive to ever have a chance on the national stage as Republicans.
So why is the D-List in it, if not to win it? Except for delusional Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, none of these people thought they’d beat Trump; they’re not idiots. What they’re doing is positioning themselves just in case.
- Just in case, Trump suffers a massive stroke from years of little exercise and lots of Big Macs and KFC.
- Just in case, Trump flees to another country that lacks an extradition treaty with the United States.
- Just in case, what has been a gradual increase in Trump incoherence suddenly accelerates (e.g., World War II being in the future rather than the past and those airports George Washing so bravely defended).
- Just in case, an anvil falls from the sky to slay Trump.
At which point, they’ll vie to be the one to carry on. And this strategy is bound to end like most other Hail Mary passes.