It’s only been a little while that I haven’t been focused on but one figure, Donald Trump. This week, his name has circulated a lot, essentially for reasons that won’t please the 45th president.
As early as Tuesday, Trumpist Republicans witnessed the defeat of their candidate during a special election in Texas. It’s difficult to blame Susan Wright’s failure on Trump’s endorsement, but those who habitually portray themselves as unshakable winners and who have astute senses of smell now lay responsibility for defeat on the people who have advised them to line up behind Wright. Not a proud moment; even you are not surprised by scapegoating.
After this first setback in Texas, Trump threw his weight into things to derail negotiations between Democrats and Republicans concerning the infrastructure plan proposed by President Joe Biden. Regardless of his rants and insults directed at many legislators of his political party, the project went forward and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted with the Democrats.
Friday morning, written notes obtained by a working group of the House of Representatives confirmed the pressure exerted by Trump on Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in December 2020. Rosen had recently replaced William Barr, who had resigned. “Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Trump said during a telephone interview.* He asked them to just affirm that the election was rigged.
A tough week, then, for the former president who remains, in spite of it all, a popular figure for numerous Republicans, chiefly his undying base. What worries the Republican strategists a little is that the Trump effect is seeming to fade beyond this kernel of loyal partisans. For the moment, the Trump’s attraction could not counterbalance Biden’s influence among the undecided or the Republicans disappointed by Trumpism.
The same strategists who try to determine the boundaries and limits of the godfather of Mar-a-Lago’s sphere of influence also deplore that Trump lacks a better established strategy for managing the current situation than he had during the 2016 campaign or during his term of office. Trump remains impulsive and continues to improvise according to his mood.
Meanwhile, if you are a supporter of the 45th president, I wanted to reassure you. The name Trump always sells and money continues to flow in for an eventual candidacy in 2024. Additionally, many Republican representatives in the House have placed their bets on him for the midterm elections in 2022.
Trump will not disappear so easily from the media or political life in the United States, but last week’s difficulties could well be indicators of significantly lower popularity. Trumpists can win a district or a state with a solid base, but not the presidency. The people have not yet voted in 2022, yet the strategists are already identifying the targets for 2024. Our neighbors never take a break; they are always in an election.
*Editor’s Note: This quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.