Tuesday, April 23, 2019


So it appears that the tiny anti-Trump vote in the GOP primaries will be divided at least two ways:
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday he is seriously considering a primary challenge to President Trump....

Hogan’s willingness to draw the president’s ire comes as he continues to weigh an insurgent primary challenge backed by the Never Trump wing of the GOP. The governor said he’s been approached “by a lot of people and a growing number of people” since his January inauguration about getting into the race, and he plans to visit 16 states in the next few months as he continues to ponder a run.
The only declared Trump challenger is former Massachusetts governor William Weld, against whom Trump is drawing 78%-92% of the vote, according to various polls. A Hogan run is not likely to put much of a dent in Trump's vote total (and Trump is likely to brag about every primary and caucus victory, to the delight of his mookish followers).

But what's up with the "growing number of people" who are interested in a Hogan run? Who are they? Well, we have a couple of names:
[Hogan] was coy about what he would do there, but mentioned that he planned to visit Utah in June at the invitation of former House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

“I’m not just wandering around the states, hitchhiking,” Hogan said.
Never mind Ryan. Hogan is going to Romney's (current) home state, presumably to strategize with the new senator.

Which means that Romney - the brave critic who said he was "sickened" by Trump's "dishonesty" after the Mueller report came out -- has considered the possibility of a challenge and made the following courageous, principled decision: Let someone else do it.

Brave Sir Romney will, presumably, offer help the way rich people usually do, via his network of wealthy friends and donors. But dirty his own hands? Heaven forfend! Even though he just won a Senate election by more than a two-to-one margin, and even though he's not up for reelection until 2024, he's not going to break a sweat or risk much of his own political capital by being the (much better known) face of Republican anti-Trumpism. We have people to do the difficult stuff!

I think it's an exercise in futility, but Romney obviously thinks it's worthwhile, otherwise he wouldn't be encouraging Hogan to run. If he really believes it's a useful exercise, he should volunteer to be the candidate -- he's much better known and would draw more votes. But he's taking the coward's way out, of course -- after all, he's Mitt Romney.

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