Jim Hartman: Republicans: Done with Trump

Jim Hartman

Jim Hartman

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On Nov. 15, Donald Trump made an early, ill-timed announcement of a third presidential bid in 2024. It flopped.

Trump, 76, appeared tired and his listless hour-long announcement speech was “low energy.”

In the gloom of unexpected GOP defeats in the midterm elections, no elected Republican official appeared with him at his Mar-a-Lago announcement. His endorsed candidates underperformed regular Republicans, confirming he had lost his political potency.

Major political donors no longer support him. Nevada’s Miriam Adelson, wife of the late Sands casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who contributed millions to Trump, reportedly will stay neutral in primaries.

Even Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, has had enough. She declared her intent not to be involved in any way with politics, or her father’s presidential campaign in 2024.

In reaction to the announcement, Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence said voters will “have better choices” for president in 2024.

Pence said Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021 tweet, that he lacked “the courage” to overturn the 2020 election, was “reckless” and Trump had decided to be “part of the problem.” A potential presidential candidate himself, Pence believes voters are looking for less divisiveness in politics.

Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another potential 2024 candidate, echoed Pence’s remarks in a tweet, saying, “We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward, not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood.”

Trump’s former Defense Secretary Mark Esper gave an interview saying he wished Trump wouldn’t run. “I think he’s unfit for office,” Esper concluded.

He said Trump’s a threat to democracy and makes it “his mission to destroy your life” if someone criticizes him.

Trump’s former Attorney General, William Barr, penned an opinion column urging Trump to step aside in 2024.

Barr wrote:

“The GOP’s poor performance in the midterms was largely due to Trump’s mischief. He attacked popular Republican governors in Maryland, New Hampshire and Arizona to dissuade them from running for Senate seats they could have won. He supported weak candidates for key Senate and House seats based solely on their agreeing with his ‘stolen election’ claims. He then failed to provide them adequate financial support, largely sitting on a massive war chest of cash raised from small donors.”

He continued:

“Trump’s willingness to destroy the party if he doesn’t get his way is not based on principle, but on his own supreme narcissism. His egoism makes him unable to think of a political party as anything but an extension of himself – a cult of personality.”

Trump’s the subject of a special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents. Barr thinks it’s “increasingly more likely” Trump will be indicted in the documents probe.

He concludes “it’s time to move on” to a next generation of leaders.

Florida’s GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis excelled on election day rolling to a 20-point landslide victory. At 44, DeSantis is 32 years younger than Trump. His Florida model of populist conservatism offers Republicans a winning alternative to Trumpism.

Post-election polls of Republican voters in early 2024 primary states show DeSantis beating Trump. In Iowa, DeSantis leads Trump 48% to 37% and New Hampshire Republicans favor DeSantis 52% to 37%.

At a Nov. 19-20 GOP weekend event, a roster of potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates appeared at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

They capitalized on a growing appetite among Republicans for a candidate other than Trump. Included were: Pence, Pompeo, New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley – and the crowd’s favorite, DeSantis.

A recent Reuters poll shows 86% of Americans believe the cut-off age for president should be 75.

Trump will be 78 in 2024 – and President Biden 82. Biden’s already in obvious cognitive decline.

To win, Republicans will need a generational alternative – and to ditch Trump.

E-mail Jim Hartman at lawdocman1@aol.com.


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