Op-Ed

 By Dick Morris  July 22, 2022 at 12:46pm

The fake news media has gotten a new assignment from their Democratic overlords: Gin up a primary against Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. They know that a serious primary would distract from his essential message and burden the former president’s campaign funding.

So the establishment newspapers now run “help wanted” ads on their front pages: “WANTED: a candidate to oppose Trump in the primaries. Must be willing to be abused, mocked, derided and, eventually, shellacked by Trump.”

But the pay is good: In return for venturing forth, he or she will be celebrated in the establishment media as the savior of the republic, get invitations to all the posh cocktail parties, rub shoulders with high-tech billionaires and have his or her name enshrined in the history books right next to Walter Mondale’s and Mike Dukakis’ under L for “loser.”

The media wants Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run, but they’ll settle for Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton or any willing and breathing candidate. In a pinch, they could be forced to choose Mitt Romney or Liz Cheney or John Kasich.

Some of these possible candidates might be permitting or even encouraging their names to be bandied about in the hopes of improving their chances for the vice presidency. But that would be a lethal mistake. Nobody ever curried favor with Donald J. Trump by running against him. He’s not really the forgiving sort.

Or they may be hoping to earn a place in the future presidential field of 2028. But that also entails risk. Before Trump makes a formal announcement of candidacy, these alternate candidates have free shots on goal. But once he’s in the race, their dilemma becomes: Do they criticize Trump or not?

If they don’t, how can they develop any traction? If they do, how will they avoid earning the perpetual enmity of Trump himself and the 70 million people who voted for him? (Remember Mike Pence.)

Of course, they could praise Trump’s record and accomplishments and say that they stand for Trumpism without Trump. A kinder, gentler Donald Trump.

Will Trump be the Republican nominee in 2024?

But voters know that a kinder, gentler Trump would be an ineffective one. We would not want a kinder or gentler version of Gen. George Patton to lead our armies across Europe.

Trump’s unique ability to hold his party in line behind his program (cf. Joe Biden and Joe Manchin), terrify opponents like Kim Jong Un and mock his critics (i.e. Sleepy Joe, Lyin’ Ted, Crooked Hillary and Low-Energy Jeb) all make him what he is: the most successful Republican since Reagan. Just try to tone him down. A doomed effort!

The fake news media is trying to hype the Jan. 6 hearings to convince these possible candidates to commit political suicide by running against Trump. They pretend to believe that this committee can do what two impeachments and a special prosecutor haven’t been able to do — besmirch Donald Trump.

The likelihood is that Trump will not face serious opposition in the ’24 primaries.

DeSantis knows that the national polls have him way behind Trump. He’s already the frontrunner for 2028. Oppose Trump now and, if the former president wins, face his wrath for four years. And if Trump loses, be blamed for his defeat (as Ted Kennedy was blamed after his primary challenge to Jimmy Carter helped Reagan get elected). Better to stay in Tallahassee and save his fan mail for future use.

Nikki Haley, alone among the likely also-rans, is trying to earn her place by criticizing Trump for fixating on the 2020 election. That’s like attacking a candidate for president of Israel for obsessing over the Holocaust!

Cruz is too smart to run. He’ll keep his powder dry. Ditto for Hawley, Pompeo and Cotton.

Looks like there’ll be a vacancy when the “help wanted” ad goes unfilled.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, “50 Shades of Politics,” was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.

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