After the tumultuous past couple weeks, many political observers and commentators have concluded that Donald Trump is all-but assured of being the Republican frontrunner heading
into the presidential primary season early next year, and it’s still unclear who his competition might be.
With Trump being arraigned before the whole world on criminal charges that even some of his Democrat enemies suggested were beyond the pale a week ago, the former president and current Republican poll favorite is virtually assured of receiving all the establishment news media coverage he ever desired now. Almost all of it will be negative, of course, but everyone will still talk about Trump every hour of every day – and that’s just how he likes it.
What about his declared and potential Republican opponents? They haven’t exactly gone away, but by now they certainly must understand their task of securing the party presidential nomination just became that much harder thanks to overzealous Democrats making a sympathetic character out of the always controversial and hard-hitting Donald Trump. Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson threw his hat into the proverbial ring last week, but any mention of the establishment pol’s ambitious shot-in-the-dark bid was drowned out by the flap surrounding Trump.
No big deal. Hutchinson is a wishy-washy “moderate” who’s often been judgmental and critical of Trump. Asa would seemingly vie for the not-Trump GOP vote, and, as of now, would lay a decent claim to it. But there’s another potential candidate out there who would instantly command the largest slice of #NeverTrumpers just by mention of her tarnished name.
Anyone ready for the reemergence of Liz Cheney? In an article titled “Liz Cheney 2024 chances jump after Trump indictment”, the inimitable Paul Bedard reported at the Washington Examiner last week:
“Republican support for former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has doubled in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s hush money indictment, making her the new threat to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and could shake up the 2024 GOP race.
“Support for Cheney, at 5% before the indictment news, has surged to 10%, putting the Trump foe and GOP face of the House Jan. 6 committee in a solid third place behind Trump and DeSantis, who has fallen from 32% to 22% in the latest Trafalgar Group survey of Republican voters.
“The poll also confirmed the findings of other surveys following the indictment that GOP support for Trump has grown and solidified. Trafalgar’s numbers showed that support for Trump winning the GOP primaries has gone from a pre-indictment 43.8% to 56.2%, giving him a huge lead over his competitors.”
Trafalgar is a reputable public survey group and their conclusions should be taken seriously. I couldn’t find anything else on Cheney considering establishing an “exploratory committee” or holding fundraisers for herself or any other evidence that she was at least dipping her toe into the pool of wild presidential campaign speculation. But if there’s ten percent support for her? Is somebody at her front door right now trying to rouse the woman from her “I’m out of politics” stupor? (Note: Cheney took a position at The University of Virginia – beyond that, who knows what she’s doing.)
It should be pointed out that the poll was taken before the farce arraignment last Tuesday, and obviously didn’t include any changed hearts after Trump’s rousing address later that evening. I didn’t see the whole Trump speech, but he was in rare form while presenting his views on the unfairness of it all.
It could be said that Trump has found an issue that unifies most Republicans – in his favor. Lots of people still harbor reservations about his candidacy and retain doubts about his ultimate electability against senile Joe Biden or whomever the Democrats nominate, but there’s little doubt that conservatives are bonded together in outrage against the slanted Democrat-led contemporary justice system. Democrats such as Manhattan’s Alvin Bragg spend millions of dollars in resources going after Trump but don’t pay a smidgen of attention to the murderers, thieves, illegal immigrants, rapists and other cultural rejects that plague society.
Trump now stands as a towering example of what the new shameless and score-settling political order is capable of. This fact alone will get principled Republicans animated and primed to defend the unjustly accused. Liz Cheney and her ilk represent the polar opposite of the direction of the masses of GOP primary voters. She relies on the same sort of sentiment that existed on January 7, 2021, namely a deep resentment towards the man who protested an election and seemingly stood to the side while a handful of Trump-attire clad miscreants stormed Capitol Hill.
Thousands of law-abiding protesters who did nothing but assemble and express their views got a bad rap. The Biden Justice Department used the crimes of a few to label the entire movement as a collection of “insurrectionists”. Traitorous Liz Cheney honed her hatred for Trump into a high position as Nancy Pelosi’s errand girl and lapdog during the show trial-ish January 6 Committee hearings. She’s got no spine, the ultimate political hack. Many conservatives would probably accept a second term of Biden before casting a vote for her. But Liz Cheney for President? Hmpf. No one in their right mind would honestly include upside down smile Liz as a threat to Donald Trump’s hold on the 2024 Republican party’s nomination for president. Heck, the woman couldn’t even win her own state’s lone House seat GOP primary last August, which spelled doom for Dick Cheney’s little girl’s somewhat brief tenure in the House of Representatives.
Cheney didn’t dwell long on the crushing personal defeat, however. She set out to campaign against every Donald Trump-endorsed candidate she could sink her serpent fangs into, notoriously crossing the partisan line to try and knock off Arizona’s conservative firebrand, Kari Lake, before the November federal midterm elections. Lake lost, of course, by an extremely small margin as the local Maricopa County officials botched Election Day voting logistics (the lawsuit is still making its way through the courts). Thousands upon thousands of conservatives were denied the chance to cast a ballot, and now The Grand Canyon State has an open borders advocate and teachers’ union’s best friend in the Governor’s mansion.
Does Cheney deserve partial credit for Lake’s loss? How many swing voters did ol’ backstabbing Liz move to Democrat Katie Hobbs’ column? I’m guessing not many, though there definitely is still a measurable contingent of Republicans who hate Trump so much they’d opt for any Democrat rather than don a MAGA hat. These gutless RINOs, are basically akin to Democrats. They don’t weigh policies, they merely assess personalities and niceness and act accordingly.
Here's guessing as soon as Liz Cheney begins showing up on Sunday morning talk shows spreading her venom against Trump that a few fellow Trump bashers like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would endorse her bid rather quickly.
One normally would surmise that Cheney couldn’t hope to sustain an expensive national campaign, but there must be enough Bush-era Republican blueblood wealthy fat cats out there to write checks and keep Liz busy on the road speaking to whatever crowds she could generate. Cheney did manage nearly 29 percent of the vote last summer in redder than red Wyoming, but the number is deceptive.
News reports of significant numbers of Democrats re-registering as Republicans to participate in the GOP primary there helped Cheney attract even three-in-ten GOP votes. Who knows what her real level of support would’ve been had The Cowboy State’s legislature closed its primary.
But if Trafalgar’s poll is on the level, and Cheney is drawing ten percent of the GOP primary support, she would certainly qualify for a place on the debate stage alongside Trump, possibly Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy – and any other yet undeclared hopeful (Chris Christie?) who could satisfy the host network’s minimum requirements for inclusion in the talk-fest.
She and the other Never Trumpers – if there are any – would exclusively gripe about how awful Trump is. Liz in particular would swear there’s a ton of undisclosed “top secret” evidence that Trump coordinated everything that happened on January 6 and she and her committee gang just ran out of time before putting it altogether into a coherent Trump criminal charge.
Cheney would also defend the Bush era neoconservatives’ aggressive America-everywhere foreign policy and engender applause from the dying remnants of this worldview. Trump would likely welcome the opportunity to face Liz in such a close forum and treat it as another chance to tout America First foreign policy and claim he could end the Russia/Ukraine war in a matter of hours if given the opportunity.
The last thing Trump wants in a debate is a bunch of yes-men stooges who all agree with him on everything. He lives for the one-on-one exchanges and doesn’t mind having his opponents against him, even if there are just minor diversions on policy. Liz Cheney is a little blonde weasel. Can you imagine her having the courage to stand up to a hostile crowd of truth tellers?
Time will tell whether a louse like Liz Cheney is truly considering a reemergence on the American political scene. Cheney must realize she has zero chance of actually winning the GOP nomination, and any way she looks at it – the end result will be a humiliating and reputation crushing defeat. Is there room enough for someone like Liz in 2024? Hopefully we’ll find out.
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