Jim Hartman: GOP winning in 2024 – without Trump

Jim Hartman

Jim Hartman

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Three former top Trump administration officials have now penned books that include an unflattering picture of Donald Trump and his fitness to hold office.
Each has concluded that Trump should not run for president again and Republicans should win by nominating someone else in 2024.
John Bolton, Trump’s third national security adviser, wrote a 494-page memoir (“The Room Where It Happened”) released in June 2020 before the November election. Bolton announced then “Trump should not be president – and I won’t vote for him.”
Bolton’s memoir is not a “tell all” book about Trump. It’s mainly about national-security policy making, but includes stories about Trump’s unorthodox behavior.
He found Trump to be “pro-American” on foreign policy but without any philosophical commitments or guiding principles – and unable to control his tongue.
Bolton saw Trump as naïve, a “danger for the republic,” concluding he should only be a one-term president.
William Barr, Trump’s second attorney general, wrote a 565-page autobiography (“One Damn Thing After Another”) released in March. It includes a comparison of his service as the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer twice – once under President George H.W. Bush (1991-93) and then under Trump (2019-20).
Barr considered Bush a model to which American presidents should aspire. While he appreciated Trump’s tenacious battling when necessary – it was too often unnecessary and caused trouble.
He was no adoring fan of Trump, but Barr was the president’s most important and influential ally. Trump didn’t pay enough attention to him.
Barr emphatically told Trump his election fraud claims were meritless, terming them “bullshit” and “detached from reality.”
Democrats were desperate to drive Trump from office. Their enmity often fell on Barr, Trump’s staunch defender.
On politics, Barr writes “Republicans start the campaign in many swing states writing off 10 percent of the electorate who otherwise lean Republican.” That’s because Trump’s “obnoxious personality alienates lots of voters.”
Trump’s “political persona,” writes Barr, “is too negative for the task ahead” in 2024.
Mark Esper, Trump’s second defense secretary, wrote a 673-page historical account (“A Sacred Oath”) on his 16 months heading the Defense Department.
Released in May, Esper’s book is harshly critical of Trump. He shows how “presidential inattention, ignorance, incuriosity, duplicity and unwillingness to take responsibility for hard decisions all put the United States at risk.”
In interviews surrounding the book Esper says Trump is a danger to American democracy, particularly in light of his behavior from Election Day 2020 to Inauguration Day 2021 when Trump tried to overturn a legitimate presidential election.
Bolton, Barr and Esper join many others who witnessed Trump up- close – including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster – casting doubt on Trump’s fitness for office.
Their books are important bricks in the wall of evidence that Trump should never again be president.
These three self-identified Reagan Republicans urge GOP voters to turn their attention to the many younger presidential prospects for 2024 who will fight for conservative principles.
In May, Georgia Republican voters rejected Trump’s “revenge campaign” to re-litigate the 2020 election.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp walloped former Sen. David Perdue (74%-22%), despite Perdue’s endorsement by Trump. And, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger overcame a Trump-endorsed challenger and an unrelenting barrage of personal attacks from the former president.
It’s time for Republicans to look forward – not back.
Trump’s now 75, and Joe Biden 79. Both threaten to run again in 2024.
If Biden were re-elected he would be 82 at the beginning of his second term. Already he’s demonstrating marked signs of age that are plainly worsening.
If Trump won he would be 78, a year younger than Biden is now. Halfway into his term, he would be 80 and a ripe 82 before completing it.
A presidential re-match between oldsters Trump and Biden is no way forward in 2024.
Email Jim Hartman at lawdocman1@aol.com


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