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Donald Trump tried to overthrow the United States government, but somehow we're still talking about whether he will run for—or be—president again. A big part of that discussion centers on whether Trump himself still has a hold on the Republican Party, or whether the faithful are ready for a new high priest to tell them the country is being stolen away from them by Those People. One measure of Trump's personal hold on the party is whether his endorsements in Republican primaries actually matter. The results in 2022 are so far mixed. Trump has succeeded with such inspiring selections as Dr. Oz and Herschel Walker, while he's taken some hot Ls in other races.
But this is a man who once showed up to a ribbon-cutting for a nursery school built for children with AIDS and plopped down in a top donor seat despite never giving a dime before or after. He's one of those guys who signs up for the marathon and takes the subway to the finish line. So it was probably inevitable that, presented with a bit of uncertainty as to whether he would WIN on his endorsements, Trump has sought a double-headed coin. In the Republican primary race for Missouri Senate, the two most likely victors are Eric Greitens, a real stand-up guy, and Eric Schmitt. Faced with this choice, our former fearless leader chose a new approach.
There is a BIG Election in the Great State of Missouri, and we must send a MAGA Champion and True Warrior to the U.S. Senate, someone who will fight for Border Security, Election Integrity, our Military and Great Veterans, together with having a powerful toughness on Crime and the Border. I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!
First of all, we are forced to acknowledge that endorsing ERIC for a Senate seat is hilarious. What kind of Nickelodeon shit is that? But this is also highly revealing in a number of ways. Politico has the backstory on how this all went down:
At one point it was suggested that he could endorse “Eric,” and that by doing so he would be supporting both Schmitt and Greitens.
It was a madcap exit ramp. But Trump went in on the details, asking if the two candidates’ first names were spelled identically — noting that it wouldn’t work if they weren’t. While Trump was intrigued, he also remarked that it might be too cute. He asked for draft endorsements to review, one announcing his support for Schmitt, the other for Greitens...
...But Trump circled back to the idea of endorsing the two Erics, reasoning that there were pluses and minuses to both, and that by doing so it would provide to each the opportunity to win with his support. He drafted a statement that would soon go out.
The tone here, as if Trump is negotiating a nuclear deal with North Korea, is pleasing. (Elsewhere, we learn he heard the founder of Bikers for Trump was milling around his golf club at the time, so he asked him.) But this episode also reveals that Trump is not that confident in the power of his endorsement; that it's solely dictated by who he thinks will win, so that he can say he propelled them to victory and make it a win for himself; and that the MAGA HERO PATRIOT FIGHTER window dressing he applies to whomever he chooses is essentially meaningless. Whoever wins is "someone who will fight for Border Security, Election Integrity, our Military and Great Veterans, together with having a powerful toughness on Crime and the Border." Who cares who, or what they would do to advance these causes? They won, they're wearing the uniform. Hell, give it to the Trump kid.
Maybe this same-jersey principle is true of party politics more generally, but the absolute shamelessness here is something to behold. Consider the kind of disdain you'd have to have for your audience to serve this up to them. "Pick a Chuck, any Chuck. Whoever wins I'll do my bullshit routine about how they will secure our border." What's Chuck's plan to secure the border? Shut up and vote for them, loser. The Democrats are trying to take your country away.
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