The names are becoming numerous. Nancy Mace, Brian Kemp, Brad Raffensperger, Jim Pillen, and Brad Little are all Republicans who beat Trump endorsed candidates in this year’s primary season. There are more on this list and certainly more to come.
But make no mistake, Trump holds a commanding lead in primary proxy battles and in popularity with the base. If all goes according to his plan he will be the Republican nominee in 2024 and perhaps president again in 2025. Now while he would be an obvious preference in a contest with Biden or Harris, his electability factor is so damaged, has so much baggage, he could conceivably lose to either one.
So the smart Republican plan would be to upset Trump’s plans and wound him enough in early primaries to make him vulnerable enough for a DeSantis, Tim Scott, or Nikki Haley to come in to administer the coup de grace. But who will wound him? Who could play Gene McCarthy to his LBJ? Republican Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland.
Does Hogan have a shot in hell of winning the Republican nomination? Nope. Maybe the veep slot, but that’s it. Which gives him complete freedom to go after Trump with a vengeance. He knows he’s going to lose, so the pressure is off. He can spend his time devoted to sticking it to Trump. Plus he’s been anti-Trump for a while, so he won’t lose any supporters nor could he be accused to stabbing Trump in the back. A front stab is preferable in this situation.
Now, I’m a little biased here. I live in Annapolis, state capital of Maryland, and I like Hogan. He’s got a great rep in this state amongst Republicans and Democrats. That’s why he’s won election and reelection in this very blue state.
Sure, in Iowa and New Hampshire Trump will try his schoolyard bully routine. But Hogan’s quiet integrity and cancer survivor backstory might look pretty good versus Trump’s childish braggadocio.
All Hogan has to do is get above 40 percent in some primaries (winning a couple here and there), stay in the race, and wait for the DeSantis, Scott, or Haley cavalry to arrive. Sometime around March, if Trump bleeds enough on Super Tuesday, one of the aforementioned Republicans pulls a Bobby Kennedy in 1968 and enters the race. Hogan then withdraws, his mission accomplished. It’s a win/win for everybody. Well, almost everybody. Heh.
And, if the Trump dump works, what are Democrats facing in the fall? An energized GOP bereft of bigtime Trump negatives with independent and swing voters. The Republicans would sport a dynamic smart young face on the ticket, as opposed to tired old Joe Biden or airhead Kamala Harris. It can be done. It only takes the right Republican for the job. Run Larry, run!