The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America: Interview with Maggie Haberman, editor of Vanity Fair Business Journal, October 21, 2005
In the epilogue of her recent book “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” Maggie Haberman recalls an interview with Trump in which he muses that talking to her is like talking to his psychiatrist. Haberman, a New York Times reporter, dismisses the line as a “meaningless” attempt at flattery. “He treats everyone like they are his psychiatrist,” she writes. It is a study of Trump’s personality and character qualities, as described by Haberman. She writes of how he has a tendency to live in and out of homes, his lack of emotional development, his loneliness, and the emotional balm that campaign rallies provide for him. The subject is a drama-seeker who covered a fragile ego with a bullies’ impulse.
Their relationship shows a lot about Trump, but it’s not always obvious. He knows that if he really believed the lies he told about her, it would be pointless and ruinous to talk with her. He would stop. The ugly act of which he trashed her confirms the void where a moral person’s conscience resides.
He’ll do anything to survive. And he’ll do anything for an audience. Maggie (a friend of mine) and the other journalists whom he publicly insulted but privately indulged were, to him, reserves of precious attention, their discerning gazes trained on him, their busy thoughts dedicated to the puzzle of him, their notepads and audio recordings and television cameras a conduit to ever greater fame. There was danger in letting them in, peril in having them around, but the alternative was worse. They might give prime real estate on the evening’s newscast to some other circus act. They might write books about a lesser clown.
For today’s newsletter, I spoke with Maggie about what she’s learned, about how much the media should cover Trump and about what’s likely next for him.
David: You have spent more time interviewing Trump than almost anyone else, you were a New York Post reporter in the 1990s and we know that you were observing him. You’ve also pointed out that he lies a lot. Given that, I’m curious: How does interviewing him help you better capture reality when he is not confined by reality?
The Ex-President’s Running Correlations Revisited: Trump’s Sen. Gabrielle Giffords and Sen. Steve Scalise Lost by a Gunman in 2016
As the political environment gets worse and the former President cranks up his political machine again, there is a sense that there is a danger around another American election.
Donald Trump is hoping his entry into the presidential primary in 2036 can change the conversation from Republican failures to a positive one, and provide a fresh dose of enthusiasm to a demoralized party. Many of the Republican congressional candidates who were endorsed by the former president did not face opposition and were widely expected to win their races.
The rancor that stained the transfer of power from one to another less than two years ago is back with a vengeance as the country prepares to vote in the mid-term elections.
This coincides with painful and far from complete investigations into what happened after the 2020 election. On Monday, for instance, on the first day of the trial of five alleged members of the Oath Keepers militia charged with seditious conspiracy, jurors heard how senators cried as they hid from Trump’s mob.
Last week, the former President posted a rant on social media that accused Senate Minority LeaderMitch McConnell of having a “death wish”, and also had a racist rant against Elaine Chao, his wife. Trump lambasted FBI agents as “vicious monsters” over the lawful search of his Florida home.
One of the ex-presidents top supporters played into his politics at his weekend rally, saying that Democrats wanted Republicans dead.
A New York Times story over the weekend, which detailed a stream of threats and harassment against lawmakers of both parties, noted that after Trump was elected in 2016, the number of reported threats against members of Congress rose more than 10 times to 9,625 in 2021, according to Capitol Police figures.
Former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was left with life-changing injuries by a gunman who attacked a constituency event in 2011, killing six people. In 2017, Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise was badly wounded by a gunman who opened fire at a congressional baseball practice. The man had professed support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ progressive politics and hated conservatives and Trump, according to a CNN review of his Facebook profiles, public records and letters to his newspaper. When the suspect in the shooting volunteered for the presidential campaign, and he made clear to the world that it was unacceptable, there was no question that the shooting was despicable.
It’s not always possible to point out specific heated rhetoric in an attack. But such incidents also mean that politicians cannot claim their words are uttered in a vacuum. Fear and violence are dangerous ways to instill fear. This was made clearer by the US Capitol insurrection. Multiple rioters testified in court cases that they were doing what Trump wanted on that day. In the House select committee’s seventh hearing, Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a restricted building, said everyone was simply following what the former President wanted. Liz Cheney said the then-president “summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”
In a nation with easy access to guns, with a recent history of political violence and where Trump and others use false claims of voter fraud as political rocket fuel, it is reasonable to wonder what dire consequences may haunt this election season.
The Observed Truth About Donald Trump: A Call to Arms and a Warning from the Media about his Political Rhetorics
The Chairman of the House select committee,Bennie Thompson, told his colleagues in both sides of the aisle that they need to be better than this.
He said in a statement that Trump’s rhetoric “could incite political violence, and the former President knows full well that extremists often view his words as marching orders.”
“The ‘death wish’ rhetoric is ugly even by Mr. Trump’s standards and deserves to be condemned. The paper said that Mr. Trump wrote a very different story than what he said.
The former President is likely to allow his supporters to copy his ideas. And his tendency to drag others down into the political gutter with him has contributed to a coarsening of the wider political culture, especially among Republicans who have to choose between their political careers and publicly tolerating his extremism.
Republicans often seize upon the rhetoric of key Democratic figures to suggest their supporters are being victimized and targeted. This happened most recently when Biden referred to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” supporters as embracing “semi-fascism.” Intemperate political rhetoric should always be condemned. But any objective viewing of Trump’s speeches and social media posts must conclude that he’s an incessant and deliberate offender.
Part of the reason why is that his own party – some courageous lawmakers aside – almost never steps into condemn him. Rick Scott, the Senate GOP campaign committee chairman, dodged an uncomfortable question from the television audience when asked to condemn Trump’s post.
What the U.S. President, Donald J. Trump, and a friend of a gemstone dealer, Liggett, have in common
The president likes to give people nicknames. So you can ask him how he came up with a nickname. I’m sure he has a nickname for me,” Scott told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” before struggling to reorient the conversation toward the high inflation that Republicans believe will hurt Democrats in the midterms.
I hope no one is racist. I hope no one says anything that’s inappropriate,” Scott said, encapsulating the manner in which Trump has intimidated his party into submission through seven years of fury since he announced his first campaign.
The Democrat objected to the continued insistence that the 2020 election had been stolen from Donald J. Trump, which was understandable to him. But the second one — a friend with whom Mr. Liggett, a 73-year-old retired gemstone dealer in North Carolina, had traveled to jewelry shows for 20 years — came as a shock.
Mr Liggett, who is a Republican himself, said he thought he was a good conservative. “One day he says, ‘I don’t want to talk to you anymore.’ I asked, “Why?” He said, “Because I don’t believe in this Republican G.O.P. man.” using a much sharper epithet.
As a new poll suggests, the increasingly stark ideological divides of American politics have come with personal consequences. Nearly one in five voters — 19 percent — said that politics had hurt their friendships or family relationships, according to a poll conducted last week by The New York Times and Siena College.
For all the concern over violent political rhetoric and outright political conflict in the United States, the ruptures that people described were typically quiet ones made more in sorrow than anger, as people with years of common experience came to the conclusion that they no longer even agreed on enough facts to have coherent arguments.
Editor’s Note: Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst, is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author and editor of 24 books, including his forthcoming co-edited work, “Myth America: Historians Take on the Biggest Lies and Legends About Our Past” (Basic Books). Follow him on Twitter @julianzelizer. His own opinions are expressed in this commentary. CNN has more opinion on it.
Has Donald Trump Comes Back? The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: The Lost Fate of the “Never Trump”
There will be no golden escalator this time, but neither will there be mocking guffaws or can-you-believe-this eye-rolling. Since Donald Trump’s first campaign, the world has changed a lot. Whatever else is thought of his attempted comeback, it will not be dismissed as an implausible joke.
Add it all up, the news is not good for those who argue that Trump is still the best option for the GOP’s hopes of recapturing the White House. It is now fair to say that the former president has cost Republicans political power in three election cycles – 2018, 2020 and 2022 – and the heavy baggage of controversy that he carries with him just became much heavier. It seems like there is no end in sight.
Biden was able to move a formidable legislative agenda through Congress despite fierce Republican opposition, and he won a few GOP votes along the way. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act are three of the most significant legislative tracks we have seen in the past 50 years.
If the midterm campaigns have shown the Democrats anything, it is that the Republicans remain a strongly united party. Very little can shake that unity. After Trump left the White House, the party didn’t change in substantive ways, while the “Never Trump” contingent faded into obscurity. Liz Cheney was kicked out of the party.
Even with unconventional and deeply flawed candidates such as Herschel Walker and Dr. Mehmet Oz running for key Senate seats, recent polls are showing that the GOP is in relatively good shape overall going into the midterm election on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Democrats are scrambling to defend several seats and even candidates in reliably blue states such as New York are at risk.
If President Biden sometimes sounded a lot like Donald Trump during his State of the Union address, boasting about a record of economic nationalism, the imitation may soon run the other way. The preview of how he hopes to run against the G.O.P. in 2024 is how Biden attacked congressional Republicans for wanting to cut Medicare and Social Security. But they were also a possible preview of how Trump may try to reclaim his own party’s nomination — by reprising his 2016 campaign’s rejection of Tea Party austerity and attacking potential rivals (which means, primarily, Ron DeSantis) as libertarian dogmatists who don’t care about the middle class.
Republicans would be more likely to vote in a win for the party than anything else. The out-party is often more motivated and prepared for political battle than the party of the incumbent, which at some level is worn down by the realities of governance.
Trump’s Legacy as a Rodeo: Predictions for the 2024 Sesquiture and Crimes of Election Robbery
Trump has signaled that he will try to block Justice Department efforts to enforce accountability over his election-stealing activity.
The President could very well still be struggling with a shaky economy and divisions within his own party, if Trump avoids prosecution. And if election deniers enter positions of power after the midterms, and Trump escapes any punishment for January 6, it’s likely he will take advantage of the loyalists who have infiltrated state and local election offices to make sure that victory is his. With the experience Trump will have of this rodeo he can perfect the rhetoric and techniques that put him in office. Now that Musk has purchased the social networking service, Trump could be given a way to influence and shape the media conversation again. (Trump, who founded Truth Social, where he has been active since he was banned from Twitter, has not publicly indicated that he will return).
The midterms have shown that the Democrats’ focus on the radical nature of the GOP and the dangers posed to democracy are not necessarily enough to rally voters. In Biden’s closing speech Wednesday, there were many dangers outlined, but Democrats are struggling to maintain power.
To be sure, none of these developments mean that he is done. It’s possible for Trump to get the nomination in 2024 and there are a number of ways that he can do it.
The Red Waves of 2022: The First Day of Trump’s 2024 Midterm Election: Why Did Trump and His Associated Anti-Democratic Campaigns Fail?
The author is a former CNN producer and correspondent, fridaghitis, who writes a world affairs column. She is a columnist for The Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.
The results of the 2022 midterm election have not been fully tallied and the crucial question – who will control Congress? – has not been answered. But on this day after, we can draw some initial conclusions.
There was a red wave but it was much less than a red tsunami. Predictions of a huge Republican victory at the polls did not materialize. It was a deeply disappointing election for the GOP. In addition, it was a disastrous day for former President Donald Trump, who had hoped a Republican landslide would place him on a glide path to the nomination to become the party’s presidential candidate in 2024.
The movement spearheaded by Trump and his associates did worse than expected. Even some of the most dramatic Republican victories looked like a rebuke of Trump and his band of anti-democratic activists.
In exit polls, 28% of voters said they chose their House vote “to oppose Donald Trump.” 37% of people said they had a positive view of the former president before the election. That should be cause of alarm.
Trump said on election night that if the Republicans win, he should be given all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” The evidence shows that he is responsible for much of the blame.
Two More Years of the Republican Party: How Congress Made Sense of the First Five-Seat Delay in President Barack Obama’s White House
30 seats is the average gain in the House for the opposition party over the last 100 years. This year, Republicans needed just five seats, a goal that seemed so reachable that practically every pollster predicted the GOP would easily clear it, especially given the high inflation rate and Biden’s relatively low approval. The Republicans are trying to clear that low bar.
They may well do it. Rep. Kevin McCarthy may replace Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, but even if Republicans take the House, the Democrats’ performance is little short of amazing. The first election after 9/11 saw the best performance by the party since George W. Bush in 2002.
Biden, in fact, has said he chose to run for president in an effort to save US democracy. Given Tuesday’s results – even if his party loses control of Congress – he can take comfort in having made significant progress in achieving that goal. These elections were important for democracy.
In Pennsylvania, Democrat Josh Shapiro soundly defeated Republican candidate Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial race. Mastriano “scared many Pennsylvanians with his brash, take-no-prisoners Trump swagger,” wrote Joyce M. Davis of The Patriot-News, the newspaper serving Harrisburg. “He inflamed racial tensions, embraced Christian nationalism, and once said women who violated his proposed abortion ban should be charged with murder. On top of all that, he’s an unapologetic election denier,” Davis observed.
And in Tuesday’s Senate runoff election in Georgia, Trump’s handpicked candidate, former football star Herschel Walker, lost to Sen. Raphael Warnock, giving Democrats a 51-seat majority in the Senate. That was also the day Trump posed for photos with a prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist at Mar-a-Lago.
If Trump was the big loser, the person who won the most was his opponent in the nomination: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was greeted by his supporters with chants of “Two more years!” an acknowledgement that his eyes, like Trump’s, are on the White House in 2024.
If he runs in 2020, he will need to show the GOP that he can fight back against Trump. The past is a guide, so he needs to do that soon. If he wants to see the consequences of holding back against Trump, his fellow Florida senator should be at the top of his list.
Trump persuaded a former senator to oppose Kemp in the primary. That primary vote ended in humiliation for Perdue and for Trump.
Trump has proven enormously resilient in the past at handling periods of adversity and his ability to command attention, by making outlandish remarks such as threatening to terminate the Constitution, perpetually draws attention in the media. It is not clear how many Republicans are willing to break with him, as his supporters remain fervent. Every Republican alternative who looks good on paper might look more like former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2012 and 2016, or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2016. Both GOP presidential candidates were in the primary portion of the race.
The Rise and Fall of the Donald Trump Insurrection: How Donald DeSantis fought George W. Bush and the Pandemic
Americans will probably have to endure another season of campaigning by a man who has shown no respect for them, the most disruptive candidate in living memory. Facing that prospect, it’s good to know the country took a step toward sanity this week, and that democracy fared rather well.
If the base were to lose its loyalty to Trump, it could be because of a violent insurrection. DeSantis is certainly better positioned than any other Republican in the country to challenge Trump for the nomination, especially since he has attracted broad support from Republican elites and right-wing media. Trump, however, has an exceptional track record against such odds. The dream of a victory by Mr. DeSantis may prove to be no better than Tuesday’s red wave.
While the record DeSantis is building is almost sure to play well with many GOP primary voters, a sense of concern is palpable, particularly on matters of race, among some Republicans who are supportive of the governor.
He has married that political style with a strongman persona. As governor, he has targeted protestors, universities, public health workers and corporations for opposing his policies. The state wants to strip voting rights from voters with criminal records after they return to the polls a few years ago, but he has sent the police to round up voters who mistakenly voted. He used his power to force the legislature of Florida to back anti-gay laws, new maps and legislation against Disney after they criticized the state’s notorious “don’t say gay” bill.
DeSantis did shut bars and nightclubs and urged people to follow federal government guidance on limiting gatherings on beaches in March 2020. He went ahead and opened them again despite the advice of federal government health officials. The former president is clearly seeking to get to the right of the Florida governor on this issue, despite DeSantis spending much of the last two years feuding with the Biden administration over the pandemic. It is quite a leap to believe that Trump could be a vote winner in the general election, even if he did not do well in the health care debate.
But as Sen. Marco Rubio, a one-time frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, knows, neither success in Florida nor success in theory naturally translates into national victory. Part of that is due to the particulars of Florida. The electorate there has been increasing more conservative in recent years because of the country’s change to a center- left policy.
The Democratic Party in Florida, unlike the national party, is struggling to field and support candidates and to organize and mobilize voters. The state of Florida has a specific mix of Latino voters who are very much influenced by immigrants from Cuba and Venezuela who are also supportive of the attacks against Democrats as socialists.
Then there is the issue of fellow Florida resident Donald Trump. The Dump Trump crowd, though bigger at the moment than at perhaps any time since 2016, does not seem to fully understand how deep and unquestioning the cult of personality around Trump still is within parts of the party.
The Power of Able to Vote: a Case Study of a Newly Born Hunting Spite and a Black Hole
You can sign up to receive the weekly column as a newsletter. We’re looking back at the strongest, smartest opinion takes of the week from CNN and other outlets.
In Arthur Conan Doyle’s story, “Silver Blaze,” Sherlock Holmes investigates the disappearance of a famous racehorse and the “tragic murder of its trainer.” A police inspector asks the detective, “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
It was only last week that the Republicans began to think they had a victory, and then some of the Democrats began to blame each other for what they feared would be a disaster.
According to Benjamin Wallace-Wells of The New Yorker, Republican senatorial candidates including those in Georgia, and Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania, are on their way to a clean sweep. Wallace-Wells wrote that the word “bloodbath” came up in the conversations.
“People sometimes wonder what it will take to get young people to the polls,” wrote Dolores Hernandez, a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. They don’t have to guess after the 2022, even if they want to.
“Place in front of us an existential issue that could determine our future. Give us the knowledge that we can influence the outcome of our votes, and we will turn out in droves. She and some of her friends believe that the abortion issue is a big one.
Students at the University of Michigan waited in line for four hours to register to vote on election day. There was a sense of excitement around the election on the campus. For many young people, especially young women, there was one motivating issue that drove their participation: abortion rights.”
Exit polls showed voters between the ages of 18 and 29 were more in favor of Democrats over Republicans than any other age group.
In the lead-up to the election, some pundits said that the anger of many voters related to the Supreme Court decision would fade after five months. They also argued that President Joe Biden was out of touch for focusing a major pre-election speech on the threat election deniers running for office posed to democracy. But both of those issues resonated.
“The abortion-rights side seemingly went a perfect five-for-five when it came to ballot initiatives, recognizing a state right to abortion in Michigan, California and Vermont,” wrote law professor Mary Ziegler. “Kentucky, a deep red state, turned away an attempt to say that the state constitution did not protect a right to abortion. The abortion measure was rejected by the voters of Montana in the referendum on Tuesday.
John Avlon saw the midterms as “a repudiation of former President Donald Trump’s election lies and at least many of the top-ticket candidates who parroted them.”
“What a relief,” wrote Roxanne Jones. “It finally feels like a majority of voters want to re-center American politics away from the toxic, conspiracy theory-driven rhetoric we’ve experienced over the past several years.”
“Plenty of voters are worried about unchecked progressivism on the left, but they’re even more worried about unchecked extremism on the right,” observed Tim Alberta, in the Atlantic.
“That extremism takes many forms: delegitimizing our elections system, endorsing the January 6 assault on the Capitol, cracking jokes and spreading lies about the assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband. And all of this extremism, which so many swing voters spurned on Tuesday, is embodied by one person: Donald Trump.”
Some careers were made in Tuesday’s election. Peniel Joseph wrote that Wes Moore, the first Black governor of Maryland, is a rising star. Joseph said that a campaign based on equalopportunity, compassion for the incarcerated, and education for all children can not only win, but prove infectious. “Wes Moore’s victory has recaptured some of the magic that has been lost in our politics in the tumult of the past few years. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”
For Sophia A. Nelson, “the big heartbreak of the night” was the defeat of Stacey Abrams by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp – “a repeat of her defeat to him four years ago, when the two tangled for what at the time was an open seat…”
In Texas, Democrat Beto O’Rourke lost to incumbent Republican Greg Abbott for governor. Nicole Russell wrote in the Fort Worth Star- Telegram that after his third huge loss, it is time for him to stop running for offices in Texas. We’ve had enough Beto for one lifetime. … His policies are not welcome in Texas.
Why is President Putin so Obsessed? The Tenth Sexiest Man in America, Not Just The Man Who Has Solved That Problem
“His military machine is broken; his country’s economy so scarred that it will take years to recover; his reputation as a geopolitical mastermind in tatters. Putin-the-man is still in power for years, but he is no longer a legend.
The actor Chris Evans received an accolade that was first bestowed on Mel Gibson in 1985, “a candidate whose appeal, I think we can agree, has not aged well,” Sara Stewart observed.
Can we get rid of the tradition of People’s Sexiest Man Alive, since the magazine recently announced this year’s Sexiest Man?
Everyone is declared the sexy person alive. Sexiness, by its very nature, is subjective. So it’s a winky joke that People offers up its own tastes as if they are everyone’s. And by making their subject male, they’re tacitly saying: See, we’re not objectifying women, we’re so evolved. Men can be objects of lust too! Maybe that was (arguably) a subversive statement in the 1980s, when Playboy, Penthouse and other magazines imposed a misogynist ideal of sexiness at the newsstands. But now? Not so much.”
Fox News: The Crown Comes After You: Five Lessons Midterms Opinion Columns Galalant (Finth Least Lessons)
The new season of “The Crown,” which Netflix dropped on Wednesday, “charts the royals’ course through the turbulent 1990s, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s agonizing divorce and Elizabeth’s ‘annus horribilis’ in 1992, when a fire destroyed much of Windsor Castle,” wrote Holly Thomas.
“Details of the show’s storylines doing the rounds earlier this fall quickly drew ire, and one reportedly involving Charles, now King, lobbying for the Queen’s abdication prompted former UK Prime Minister John Major to describe the series as a ‘barrel-load of nonsense.’” The series might blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism as the nation mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, warns Dame Judi Dench.
The journalist Roxanne Jones is going to help Musk with his efforts to fix the social media site. She has had enough. “I deleted Twitter on the day Elon Musk became the platform’s new owner,” Jones wrote. “After a mostly dysfunctional 12-year relationship with Twitter that I admit brought some moments of joy, it was time to exercise my freedom of speech to say goodbye and good riddance.”
Data points about rising racism on social media are generally in line with what we already know. Like many Black women I can testify about the feeling of being harassed and threatened with violence. I have experienced it all. … I’m done. I’ll take my power and my voice and walk in the real world.”
The origin story of the Man of Steel: Joseph Shuster, Helen Louise Cohen, and their marriage alumnus L.L. Cohen
Bill Carter and his wife don’t normally buy lottery tickets, “having long concluded that it felt like burning a $10 bill (sometimes a $20 bill) on a barbecue grill.”
They bought a few tickets last week when the prize was approaching a billion dollars. “How could we not? Think of what we could do with all that money!”
“Really: What would we do with all that money? After helping the kids, donating to charities, buying several homes, etc., what else? Don’t build a money bin, swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck. Money can be good, but it is not liquid.
The origin story of the Man of Steel is well known. Joseph Shuster and classmates came up with the idea of Superman at the age of 18. The first superhero was rejected by every newspaper syndicate in the US because he was too good for children to relate to, according to his unpublished memoir.
But as Schwartz wrote, Shuster had a relationship with Helen Louise Cohen, a fellow resident of Cleveland, who might have borne a resemblance to Superman’s eventual wife Lois Lane. The sketches of Superman and a drawing of Cohen were part of the package that Shuster sent.
She decided to break it off and marry the officer she chose, who would later win the Legion of Merit and become a colonel in the Army. Shuster was too nearsighted to enlist in the military during World War II.
Cohen would later tell her sons, as Schwartz noted, that “Shuster was simply too mild-mannered for her.” Schwartz wrote that the family is sharing the sketches and letters that she kept with the world.
Did Donald Trump lose in the midterms? Did Donald Cox declare defeat? A comment on the frustration of his fellow Republicans and the MAGA forces
Did Donald Trump lose in the midterms? A lot of people said that he did, from the liberal pundits to the Murdoch newspapers, which published a double dose of Trump news on their front pages.
The strength of the MAGA forces is ebbing at last as the calendar turns over on the Trump era. But how do you declare defeat for a movement that is built around refusing to accept defeat? Mr. Trump and his supporters have been feeding off each other’s worst tendencies for so long, it’s impossible to separate his temperament or strategy from that of the Republican Party.
Dan Cox, a Trump loyalist lost the governor’s race in Maryland by more than 25 points. Mr Cox issued a statement after his loss where he said he’d called Wes Moore to recognize him as the winner. The Trumpist version of concession: The other side had been declared the victor, according to what someone else had said. Mr. Cox wrote that the internal data showed a big shift of swing voters and a huge turnout of Republicans, neither of which was reported to have happened.
Frustrated Mehmet Oz: When Donald Trump Becomes a Fake Candidate in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives During the 2016 Midterm Primary Election
Marriage is hard. Even the happiest couples will occasionally bicker, nitpick or wear on each other’s nerves. If her husband criticized her for her high-profile screw-up, things would be very bumpy.
This apparently has been happening at Mar-a-Lago, where, postelection, Donald Trump is flipping out over his key role in the Republicans’ face plant in the Pennsylvania Senate race. Mr. Trump backed his old buddy Mehmet Oz, and the celebrity doctor turned out to be a loser. The former president has blamed everybody else but himself for the poor pick, according to The Times. (Mr. Trump, of course, hopped on Truth Social to denounce the “Fake Story” and insist he “was not at all ANGRY.”)
By now Mrs. Trump must be somewhat accustomed to her hubby’s tantrums. Still, this round of ragey finger-pointing must be particularly problematic, as it shows that Mr. Trump didn’t just undermine Republicans’ chances in the Senate race. He helped the Democrats on the Pennsylvania ballot, which was one of their best Election Day results in years.
The Republican Party was left reeling after seeing its hopes of controlling the Senate dashed and finding itself in battle for the House majority.
There are still several uncalled House races that will determine control. The Senate majority won’t be decided, but there will be a runoff election between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker on December 6th.
The New York Businessman isn’t the First President of the United States, but He Will be in the Senate if he Becomes President
Trump is eager to launch his 2024 campaign for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, his desire to close off momentum for other contenders (most notably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis) and, perhaps, to try to insulate himself from his own mounting legal problems. He also likely wants to change the story from the GOP blame game where he is facing significant criticism for his role in the midterms.
Instead, the Republican Party – thanks to Trump – will be thrust directly into the 2024 race, with the former president demanding endorsements and fealty from elected officials who are still in the midst of trying to figure out what the heck just happened last week.
The point is that Trump is important to them. He is the leader of the Republican Party, yes, but he simply does not prioritize the good of the party over his own good.
Should Donald Trump decide to enter the race for President, he will begin the next phase of his political career under siege.
Seven years ago, the New York businessman entered the political scene on defense, working strenuously to portray himself as a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination to the inscrutable of veteran political operatives and his primary opponents. This time, Trump takes the plunge as the party’s indisputable frontrunner, but once again, he finds himself in a defensive crouch.
On Saturday, CNN projected to viewers that Democrats will retain control of the Senate in the 118th Congress, an outcome that has fractured Republicans and left the party on tenterhooks as Trump prepares to make a big announcement.
Three sources said that Youngkin was in favor of comments Winsome Earl-Sears made to Fox Business last week. She told the network she would not support Trump if he runs for president a third time.
Earle-Sears said that a true leader would understand when they have become a liability. A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage, and the voters have given us that very clear message.”
According to one of his aides, Sears didn’t tell The Washington Post if Youngkin knew before the interview that she was going to split from Trump.
Glenn Youngkin has the right to run for president. But Team Trump will certainly mount a massive effort to win the Virginia delegates going to Milwaukee that is going to embarrass Youngkin,” said John Fredericks, a Virginia-based conservative radio host who chaired Trump’s campaigns in the state in 2016 and 2020.
For instance, the ex-president honed in on one of the strongest areas of the DeSantis record for many conservative voters – his frequent fight against federal Covid-19 restrictions and recommendations. Trump accused the team of trying to rewrite history over his record. Trump told reporters that there are Republican governors who didn’t close their states. “Florida was closed for a long period of time.”
“I know there’s a lot of criticism and people saying, ‘Just focus on Georgia,’ but he figures there’s no point in waiting. According to a current Trump adviser, if Herschel loses, he will be blamed for distracting from the rest of the race, but if he wins, he doesn’t think he will get any credit for energizing the base.
Nobody should be surprised. Michael Caputo, who remains close to the former president, said that this is how Trump does primaries. “The question you have to ask is whether this format can work for him again.”
Frayda Levin, a member of the Club for Growth’s board of directors, said there is great interest in DeSantis but she is increasingly concerned that he has become “too heavy-handed” in his pursuit of hot-button social issues. The six Republicans invited to the Club for Growth donor summit in Florida are not a part of the group that backs Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are also invited.
A person close to Trump says that he has proved that he does not need deep-pocketed donors.
A few of Trump’s allies said questions about his stature and donor challenges made some of his campaign operatives reluctant to join his next campaign. Some of the president’s allies have questioned whether his plan to keep his operation lean is because of recruiting difficulties or out of preference. CNN has previously reported that Trump’s likely campaign is expected to be helmed by three current advisers – Susie Wiles, Chris LaCivita and Brian Jack – with assistance from a group of additional aides and advisers with whom the former president is already familiar. Overall, his 2024 apparatus is expected to dwarf in comparison to his reelection campaign two years ago, multiple sources said.
Either way, as Trump works to find his footing on the verge of a presidential campaign that could coast to the party’s nominating convention or encounter any number of unforeseen troubles, allies who have stuck by his side said they are ready for battle one last time.
One of the main signs that Trump has lost political clout is that conservatives have shown they are more willing to criticize him. The Republican Party is moving away from the former president, according to my colleague Lisa Lerer. Republicans have flocked to television shows to declare that there is no single leader of the party anymore. “We’re not a cult,” Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Rupert Murdoch’s conservative media outlets have increasingly lashed out at Trump, branding him “the Republican Party’s biggest loser.”
The price of supporting Donald Trump to the Republican Party keeps getting higher. The former president has gone through one of the most tumultuous weeks possible, with fresh evidence of why the party’s connection to him – and his potential nomination in 2024 – could be extraordinarily damaging.
The Democrat-Activist Corrupted Campaign to End the Wall: Donald Trump’s Avatars and a Newly Destroyed Future
A Manhattan jury found two of the companies in the Trump Organization guilty of criminal tax fraud and falsifying tax business records on Tuesday, though Trump and his family were not charged in the case.
The Washington Post reported that a team of investigators hired by the former president’s lawyers, discovered two classified documents in a Florida storage unit.
Nor was this week some sort of one-off. After making more antisemitic comments, he decided to dine with Kayne West. Nick Fuentes is notorious for his promotion of racism and was at the table that evening.
Commenting on everything that has happened, Republican strategist Scott Reed called this week, and the two that came before, “devastating for Trump’s future viability.” The writing on the wall, Reed told the New York Times, seems clear. “Abandonment,” he said, “has begun.”
Why might all of this be relevant now? Trump’s main currency is turmoil. As businessman, reality television celebrity and president, he has always counted on generating controversy as his central strategy for garnering media attention. He has used the investigations and attacks that come his way as a basis to position himself as a perpetually anti-establishment figure who can sympathize with the “common” person.
Trump seeks to weaponize the anger that he creates so that he can be loved. Despite Trump’s name-calling and personal drama, he twice won the GOP presidential nomination – and the 2016 election. The same dynamic held true throughout his one-term presidency.
While many speculate about whether Trump has “gone too far,” this has never proven to be a concern to Republican powerbrokers such as Sen. Mitch McConnell. This is not the issue that motivates them.
Almost nothing happened in recent weeks that was new to Trump unless the person has been paying attention. He has been involved in scandal from the moment he set foot in politics. As president, he constantly flouted the limits of power. And he has a history of making remarks that invoke antisemitic tropes.
Over the last six years, Republican officials have learned how to live with Donald Trump because they think that he can win, and their loyal base can help them be victorious. Republicans showed that they would tolerate anything to protect him, even trying to overturn an election.
Nonetheless, the frustration is mounting. The most recent election put him in real danger with the party because of all the legal problems he’s facing. More than the documents and more than his companies’ tax fraud, Republicans are paying attention to the ways in which Trump and the candidates he supported cost the party majority power. McConnell might be forgiving of many things, but having to serve as the minority leader is not one of them.
In the wake of the 2018 midterms, the young congresswoman was sick of commuting to Washington from upstate New York and weary of dialing for campaign dollars. She was demoralized that Republican primary voters had spurned so many of the women she had helped persuade to run for Congress. She was annoyed that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist who had displaced her that fall as the youngest woman ever elected to the House, had not shown her the respect she felt was her due.
Instead she embarked on one of the most brazen political transformations of the Trump era. With breathtaking speed and alacrity, Ms. Stefanik remade herself into a fervent Trump apologist, adopted his over-torqued style on Twitter and embraced the conspiracy theories that animate his base, amplifying debunked allegations of dead voters casting ballots in Atlanta and unspecified “irregularities” involving voting-machine software in 2020 swing states. Democrats as a party of Socialists, illegals, criminals, Communist Truth Ministers, and media stenographers, are what has been described by the future of hopeful, aspirational politics in America. In the process, she has rocketed from the backbench to the party’s No. 3 House leadership job, presiding over the conference’s overall messaging.
Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show.” Follow him on social media. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.
The Florida Governor’s “Pool”: A Cataclysmic Threat to the Republican Presidential Standard-Bearer
It’s hard to know for sure who the “fool” is that Lake was referring to, but my guess would be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who seems to be biding his time ahead of a possible White House run. DeSantis appears — at least for the moment — to pose the greatest threat to Trump’s bid to repeat as the Republican Party’s presidential standard-bearer.
The same famous line that Lake borrowed from Lang in the movie “Clubber” will instantly be noticed by fans of “Rocky III”.
“I had governors that decided not to close a thing and that was up to them,” Trump said. He criticized the Florida governor for changing his position on vaccines, saying he had changed his tune a lot.
In response to the rapid spread of the Pandemic in March 2020, the Governor of Florida issued an executive order closing bars and nightclubs in the state, and reminded people to follow CDC guidelines of not having more than 10 people outdoors.
But his recent remarks and pronouncements have veered sharply away from sensible, government-imposed Covid-19 protections in what appears to be a desperate bid to appeal to the GOP’s Covid-denying base voters ahead of an anticipated presidential run.
Free-market conservatives believe the government shouldn’t interfere with businesses, which is why they debate each other about DeSantis’ pugilistic style. DeSantis has often intervened if he accuses a business of running afoul of his vision of freedom. He instigated a standoff with the cruise line industry during the pandemic over their vaccine policies, banned businesses from requiring masks and vaccines, and championed a bill that restricted how businesses train workers around topics such as race and gender.
The Race for the Victory: A Possible Trump vs. DeSantis Battle in Marco Rubio’s Florida Flying Corse
Any possible run means a face-off with Trump, who has yet to formally announce he’s running. The 40th anniversary of the release of “Rocky III” might mean the GOP will take on “Clubber Lang all over again” in the next presidential election.
The film has another scene that I think of when I consider a possible Trump vs. DeSantis battle. That’s the scene where Clubber Lang, having lost his boxing title, trash-talks Rocky in an effort to goad him into a fight.
But if the former President is not exactly an underdog in the White House nomination contest, he certainly has been on the ropes of late, with polls showing a certain Trump fatigue among many voters in his party who would rather someone else be the GOP nominee.
Initially, Marco didn’t attack Trump directly. That changed when Rubio faced a “do or die” moment, finding himself in third place behind Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the delegate count, with little time to make up ground ahead of a March 2016 primary in his home state of Florida.
When it became clear that Trump was an embarrassment and a demagogue, he finally took the gloves off. It wasn’t enough to save him from dropping out of the race the day after he lost the Florida GOP primary.
When the governor donned a flight suit and climbed into the cockpit of a fighter jet, he declared there were rules of engagement that he would follow. He continued: “No. 2 — never, ever back down from a fight.”
You have to fight your way to victory. There could come a time when GOP voters view DeSantis’ refusal to defend himself and punch back as a sign of weakness.
The longer he is silent in the face of Trump, the more likely people will ask themselves if he doesn’t fight.
The Tea Party: A Timing Drama for a Pseudoscalar Candidate who Stole an Election to Presidency
There is something odd about a former president campaigning and being embraced by his supporters as if nothing happened, when he tried to steal the election and incited an insurrection to cling to power.
It is clear to see that Trump thinks he is owed a Republican nomination and feels that some in his party are not very grateful for his one-term presidency.
Trump’s musings about loyalty also recall his attack on evangelical leaders earlier this month, whom he said showed “disloyalty” by refusing to support his 2024 bid so far despite his delivery of a generational conservative Supreme Court majority. The comments were a reminder of Trump’s transactional view of politics – and also that a man who dumped aides, staff and Cabinet members at a fearsome clip in office often tends to view loyalty as a purely one-way allegiance.
Chris Sununu told Dana Bash onState of the Union on Sunday that he thinks Ron DeSantis will win the Granite State’s GOP primary. Sununu told Bash he was thinking of his own White House bid in four years, and also criticized Trump’s demeanor and size of his event which was an address to party activists rather than one of his seething rallies.
According to his remarks, Trump is not yet ready to acknowledge that reality. Though his decision to visit an ice cream parlor late in the day in South Carolina was an unusual foray into retail politics and first-person contact with voters.
Trump appeared Saturday to understand that his two years of fury over the 2020 election, which he still falsely says was stolen from him, may have turned off voters in 2022, when many of the election-denying candidates he promoted in swing states lost – potentially costing the GOP the Senate.
“This campaign will be about the future. The campaign will have issues in it. Trump stated that if he were elected he would make sure that Biden did not receive four more years because he had put America on a path to ruin.
But he hasn’t abandoned all of his standard rhetoric. He called for a rally on Sunday evening for his favorite election-denying candidates, and one of them was the failed Arizona governor nominee, who still insists she won. And earlier on Saturday, in New Hampshire, the former president – who is facing criminal investigations by the Justice Department and a district attorney in Georgia over his attempt to overturn the 2020 election – could not resist taking aim at institutions that are revealing the true course of events in 2020.
“We’re going to stop the appalling weaponization of our justice system. There has never been a justice system like this before. It’s all investigation, investigation,” Trump said. He said his resistance to such probes was proof that the quality of the Republican Party they embraced in 2016 was a major factor in him being elected as president.
One president has ever challenged the entire establishment in Washington and he will do it again, if you vote for him next year.
The Fair Tax: Why Republicans and the Left voted against President Donald Trump in the 2012 GOP Primaries, and why Governor Sununu is a principled free-market conservative
That strategy was previewed a bit recently by Joseph Zeballos-Roig and Shelby Talcott in Semafor. The Fair Tax is a long-standing fascination for right-wing activists who want to replace the US tax code with a sales tax. This would yield certain advantages in economic efficiency; it would also result in a dramatic tax increase on the middle class.
In the heyday of the Tea Party, when implausible policy proposals were all the rage, the Fair Tax was endorsed by many of today’s 2024 hopefuls: by Nikki Haley, Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo and, yes, by DeSantis himself. Which gives Trump a license to accuse all these potential rivals of supporting a middle-class tax hike — and the Semafor writers quote a Trumpworld source basically promising an attack along those lines, to force Trump’s rivals to “answer for what they supported and what they’ve advocated in the past.”
That same quote could easily apply to the proposed entitlement changes that many Republicans (again, including DeSantis) embraced in the same era, under the influence of Paul Ryan’s budget blueprints. Those proposals were serious rather than crankish, if ill-timed for a moment when there was more fiscal space than deficit hawks believed. They were unpopular and crucial to Trump’s success. And having discarded them then, he’s well positioned to go after DeSantis and others now — in imitation of not only his prior campaign but also, as National Review’s Philip Klein points out, the strategy pursued by Mitt Romney in the 2012 primaries, when he sank Rick Perry’s candidacy in part by blasting Perry for calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made freedom his calling card, but some conservatives have become skeptical of how liberally the Republican leader is using government power to impose his will.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu took a shot at the power grab as Florida state Legislature gave new authority over Disney World as punishment for the company’s opposition to a measure limiting certain classroom instruction about sexuality and gender identity.
“I’m a principled free-market conservative,” said Sununu, who is also weighing a bid for president. Some people think that the government should penalize your business for disagreeing with you politically, that is not very conservative.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education supports right to speak as it did for Richard Spencer, who spoke on a Florida campus. The group has sued the state of Florida for the Stop WOKE Act, a measure that legislated how professors teach certain topics, as well as for forcing conservative beliefs on universities.
“You cannot censor your way to freedom of expression,” said Will Creeley, FIRE’s legal director. “You cannot trade one orthodoxy for another. Recently, we’ve seen a troubling willingness to do that in Florida.
The Florida governor said at the National Conservatism Conference last year that corporate America is different from free enterprise and that limited government is how we want to do the economy. “My view is, you know, obviously free enterprise is the best economic system, but that is a means to an end.”
The Florida Citadel of Freedom: Noem, Levin, and the Republican-Gov. DeSantis in the House of Representatives
The Republican who spoke on the condition of anonymity said being perceived as racially sensitive is not a good place to be in the long term.
In the debate over the African American studies Advanced Placement course, the supporter pointed out that the governor could cause a divide among voters who otherwise would be behind him.
A Republican who is close to the Governor told CNN that they are concerned that the candidate is going over the top with his anti-woke rhetoric but that he must win the primary first.
But Republicans voters have yet to be introduced to many potential contenders for the party nomination. Meanwhile, outside groups such as the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity have signaled they intend to get involved in the primary.
“I’m a genuine libertarian; I’m kind of a live-and-let-live kind of girl,” Levin told CNN. She said she has no problem with candidates espousing strongly held personal beliefs on social issues but said she objects to DeSantis “putting the power of his state behind his socially conservative views.”
“DeSantis is always talking about he was not demanding that businesses do things, but he was telling the cruise lines what they had to do,” former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow Republican, said of DeSantis last year. Hogan has remained critical of the Florida governor as he weighs entering the mix for the Republican nomination.
Meanwhile, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another potential GOP contender, has also compared her Covid19 record against DeSantis in ways that suggest Florida was too hands-on – for ideologically disparate reasons. Noem said Friday it was her state, not Florida, that “set an example of freedom” by refusing to shut down at all. In Florida, which was called the Citadel of Freedom, bars and theme parks were closed and economic activity was restricted.
Murdoch’s Defamation of the 2020 Presidential Election: A Tale of Two Parties on the Right, Against Corrupting Political Power
He has often included more government programs, such as creating an office to pursue voter fraud and a new program to conduct missions to surveil, house and transport migrants from border states to Democratic jurisdiction.
DeSantis’ allies have pushed back against the growing chatter. Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contended on Twitter recently that the governor was using his power as an elected leader – a job he was reelected to with a historical 19-point victory in November.
Rufo was appointed to the board of New College, a liberal arts school that the governor has targeted for drastic changes in order to become a more conservative university.
“The complaint about using ‘state power,’ meaning constitutionally-mandated democratic governance, to correct the ideological corruption of public universities, i.e., state institutions funded by taxpayers, is ridiculous,” Rufo tweeted. “Amounts to ‘the people can’t regulate the state.’”
“I don’t appreciate Gov. DeSantis going after Disney’s tax status,” Griffin said at the time. “It can be portrayed or feel or look like retaliation. I believe that the people who serve our country need to rise high in these moments, with good conduct and behavior.
The Republican Party and a vast conservative media empire are based upon giving the party base exactly what they want to hear, regardless of whether it is true or not.
It’s not a surprise that opinion formers on the right are exposed for being held hostage to fury they helped to create. Extraordinary revelations this week from a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems showed that Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch admitted under oath that some of the channel’s top stars endorsed false claims that the 2020 election was stolen as he tried to stop viewers from defecting. Some of the Fox hosts knew they were selling lies, but were worried about offending their audience if they told the truth.
Key players on the right feel all they can do is appease and inflame voters and viewers who depend on political power, according to the new details.
Some media commentators would argue that Murdoch’s entire business model – using television stations in his native Australia and tabloid newspapers like The Sun in Britain, as well as Fox News in the US – has evolved from seizing upon and feeding political anger. Murdoch was more known for backing conservatives, but when he wanted his newspapers to endorse Tony Blair in the 1997 general election, he switched sides.
There are also signs that the billionaire publisher may finally be getting buyer’s remorse over Trump given the headline in his New York Post after the ex-president’s low energy 2024 campaign launch in November, which read, “Been there, Don that.”
The Courage to Be Free: The Case for a Republican Candidate: When the Tea Party Grows, It Isn’t
“It is not red or blue, it is green” was how he said in a deposition made public in a court filing.
The calculation of what the political market will be influenced by Republican politicians who appear on Fox. Their unfiltered adoption of much of the doctrine favored by the conservative grassroots ultimately stretched American democracy to the limit.
Catering to that base helped fuel the rise of Trump in 2016, as he shattered the Republican establishment presidential field. GOP lawmakers who held power because of their adherence to not crossing the reality star-turned-president allowed Trump to run riot. That helped foster an unstoppable radical tide that led to the US Capitol insurrection in 2021 and eventually to Republicans acquitting him in not one but two impeachment dramas.
Kevin McCarthy was forced to make concessions to the most radical representatives of the conference in order to win his job as House Speaker after 15 rounds of voting. McCarthy had earlier watched as two predecessors, former Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, tried to resist the GOP’s far right insurgency and lost their job. McCarthy gave Tucker Carlson access to hours of Capitol Hill security footage last week, despite the Fox host’s conspiracy theories about January 6, 2021, as the speakership is a subsidiary of the GOP’s most extreme elements.
The fact that McCarthy dominates the same GOP base is one reason why so many financial experts are worried about the world economy if the borrowing limit is not raised.
When Democratic and Republican nominees have to decide if they want to win a general election, they have to choose between winning a party’s base voters and trying to court middle America. In 2024, this political leap may require supreme political skill from whoever emerges from what could be the GOP’s “America First” primary.
In his book “The Courage to be free,” DeSantis says that the theme that Republicans failed to represent the values of the people who elected them was a factor in the nomination of Donald Trump.
“The chasm between the aspirations of the GOP voter base and the behavior of party leaders in Washington would continue to grow wider in the ensuing years.”
Many politicians face a moment when, for reasons of conscience or political reality, they risk alienating their closest supporters. Sometimes, it is necessary to spend political capital.
The marriage of convenience between the presidency and the conservative media infrastructure was already established by Trump in his appearance at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City.
“Stick with us. You should not be fooled by the fake news from these people. … What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” he said.