Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina has entered the race for president. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is not far behind, announcing this week. Can they win the nomination and go all the way to the Resolute Desk? If they can beat Trump, yes. But that might be a tall order.
Both men have a Reaganesque optimism to them. DeSantis, like Reagan, has been a successful governor. Scott, like Reagan, has a Horatio Alger backstory.
But the former president has at least 40 percent of the primary base in his pocket. And he is immune from scandal, as his base doesn’t care about his misdeeds and Dem misfires have painted him as a martyr. As former Republican House member Jason Chaffetz puts it after the release of the Durham Report, “With these facts now added to the long list of formerly crazy conspiracy theories come true, former president Donald Trump is essentially inoculated from any future prosecution by virtue of the public mistrust in an obviously weaponized federal government. Even if prosecutors somehow manage to get a partisan jury to convict, the public will see it as a political witch hunt predicated primarily on partisan politics.”
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And as we’ve stressed before, Trump will beat any combination of foes. But can he best Scott or DeSantis in a one on one? Maybe. It depends on if either Scott or DeSantis is smart enough to have a proxy lay the right trap.
As only Scott and DeSantis are legit contenders against Trump, everyone else is running for veep or a Cabinet slot, it comes down to them. Trump can be beaten if they use his ego against him.
It’s like a television crime drama where the D.A. springs a surprise on the defendant near the end of the show, causing the guilty party to irrationally blurt out their culpability. If Trump is viciously needled on personal his foibles or post 2020 election conspiracy theories, using Trump’s own tactics against him, the former president may blow up in a spectacular, if not in a Frederick March in “Inherent the Wind,” manner.
Scott or DeSantis can’t have their fingerprints on the hit, as they will need to pick up Trump votes to eventually win. The Chrises, Christie or Sununu, would be better hit men, as they have no hope of the nomination and could get a Cabinet slot, like Transportation or Commerce, in return for their skullduggery.
However, if Trump somehow keeps his composure in the face of attacks, then only an early alliance focusing on one man can stop him. I mean early, like before Super Tuesday. If we wins that night it’s all over for his opponents. Scott would be the slightly better choice because his race will keep him relatively inoculated to Dem charges of racism. Though he’ll hear the Uncle Tom slur
Those are the present dynamics of the Republican race. It could change overnight given an act of God, a gaffe, or a surprise development. Such is politics now. Such is politics always.
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