And Then There Were Two

The news that Ron DeSantis had thrown in the towel — “suspended my campaign” in the  losers’ parlance of this and every year’s presidential races — broke early in the afternoon, too late, and no doubt by design, for the talking heads of the networks’ Sunday morning pundits to seize the moment and gloat about their prescience in expecting it all along. True, after Iowa and running a poor third in the state polls before New Hampshire’s primary on Tuesday (Wednesday in Australia), bailing out right now made sense for a faltering, cash-strapped candidate. But grim reality is not what aspirants to the Oval Office generally recognise, so often clinging in hope and self-deceit to their ambitions long after the ebb tide of support has left them on the beach. Think here of George Bush the Elder harrying Ronald Reagan in 1980 or, 28 years later on the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton refusing to concede until very late in the game that Obama had her whipped. In 2016, she had her own zombie challenger in Bernie Sanders, who terrier-like refused to let go despite knowing for a lead-pipe cinch that the Clinton machine had rigged the Democrats’ selection process to leave him with no chance whatsoever. Politicians in America are much easier to kill than their ambitions.

And that’s what makes the promptness of DeSantis’ decision both remarkable and his candidacy worth mourning. A year ago, there was an air of inevitability about him. Here was the governor of a booming state who represented so much of what Trump voters liked, indeed loved and still do. DeSantis had taken on the teachers unions and beaten them, picked a winning fight with Disney, Florida’s largest employer, and who extolled family values while pinning back the Mouse Factory’s big woke ears. He had served in the Navy – electorally a big plus, especially in the South and Flyover States — which Trump could not match, having waltzed away from military service in the Vietnam years on heels purportedly afflicted with incapacitating bone spurs. DeSantis had the record, the achievements and none of Trump’s personal and legal baggage.

The big-bucks donors — take that to mean corporate money — discerned a winner, set aside their reservations about a governor who gave Disney a good kicking and opened their wallets. That pundits and bookies alike rated him the early frontrunner was only to be expected.

Meanwhile the grief being heaped on Trump expanded exponentially. Improbable accusations of sexual assault in a New York department store’s ladies changing room, the two impeachment hearings and the ludicrous, summary conviction (before even a word of evidence had been introduced) by a hack judge straight from the Democrat clubhouse of a “fraud” that left none of the lending banks out of pocket. Beyond all that, the January 6 show trials spawned the prosecutions he faces in Washington DC and in Georgia. Richard Nixon’s vice-president, Spiro Agnew, was booted on the strength of just one accusation, subsequently settled with a plea bargain, of failing to pay tax on $30,000 of brown-bagged graft when Maryland’s governor. As of today, Trump faces a total of 91 criminal charges, plus a slather of civil actions. Who could be surprised that the smart money was all for DeSantis?

And yet here we are, the original field of 14 Republicans winnowed to just Trump and Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and Trump’s UN ambassador, who regardless how well she does on Tuesday appears certain to run a poor second in her own home state. The polls certainly say so and for once, in this election cycle, their last-minute projections have been mostly calling it right.

How Trump has managed all this says something about America and a lot about him. Forget Haley for the moment and contrast Trump with DeSantis, the former a rule-breaker and the latter a candidate from Central Casting in his presentation, speeches and babies kissed. Whatever the man’s merits, and they are many, few would think to line up in an Iowa snowstorm for the chance to see and hear him. But Trump, the Great Performer, when he addresses a rally, as he did on Saturday in slightly less snowy New Hampshire, the spillover crowd had to settle for closed-circuit TV in adjoining venues. Trump not only says what many Americans fervently believe, he does it with humour and scathing acidic aplomb. Sure, there are Never Trump conservatives of the George Will/Jonah Goldberg/Chris Christie school whose skins he makes crawl. But when he mentions high petrol prices or the impotence of the Biden administration in failing to smite Houthi rocketeers with the unleashed full force of American arms, it is both an election speech and a war cry.

Tuesday’s primary might well be the end for Haley. With DeSantis out, the six per cent pollsters were putting to his account will go almost exclusively to Trump, who was said to be leading before today’s announcement by low double-digits. DeSantis cemented that transfer of affections by officially endorsing Trump and slamming Haley, who he intimated was a Wall Street-sponsored leftist in Republican drag. Haley ran a narrow third in Iowa, with roughly 20 per cent of the vote, so another thumping loss will sever the pipeline of corporate cash that flooded her coffers as DeSantis faded.

A telling factoid about Haley: in 2005, when the push to remove Confederate monuments was just beginning and she occupied the governor’s mansion, she denounced attempts to bring down the South’s battle flag. Five years later, having lifted a wet finger to the wind, she was all for it. Don’t like her principles on Monday, she’ll have new ones by Friday.

A telling sign of doom for her campaign came last week at the globalist gabfest in Davos, where Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan, did a remarkable somersault. Days before Iowa he had been a cheerleader for Haley, noting that his fellow Democrat-aligned captains of industry and commerce were writing cheques and overflowing with enthusiasm. After Iowa it was a different story: the White House and its tame media’s insistence that Trump will “destroy our democracy”, unleash the Army on dissidents and fill internment camps with his enemies were doing America no good whatsoever.

“I wish the Democrats would think a little more carefully when they talk about MAGA,” Dimon said. “Take a step back, be honest. He was kind of right about NATO, kind of right on immigration. He grew the economy quite well. Trade tax reform worked. He was right about some of China.”

“I mean, really? Can we just stop that stuff and actually grow up and treat people with respect.”

Should Trump triumph in November, Dimon has secured his invitation to the White House.

As for Haley, perhaps as early as post-New Hampshire’s Wednesday, DeSantis has shown her where and how to find the exit.

6 thoughts on “And Then There Were Two

  • Necessityofchoice says:

    I wonder if Nikki will be quite so easily deterred from continuing her run ? Not so much a Republican candidate, more a Manchurian candidate, The Swamp would be quite comfortable dealing with Nicki Halley as President if they can’t have a Democrat. The chance of Trump being taken out, is ever present, so she’ll hang around, ready. to run.

    • Watchman Williams says:

      You’re right. I wish DeSantis had stuck with it because there is every chance that Trump will be stopped by the epidemic of Lawfare against him. If he falls before November, the nomination will inevitably go to whoever is still in the race. Haley. Yuk!

  • STD says:

    With all the immoral-illegal/ legal proceedings against Trump ,the so called ‘thinking’ elite and the progressive hegemony obviously see him as a real threat to their valueless sense of hedonistic bohemian sense of corporate Marxism, identity and morality. Someone who actually stands for something on principle- you can’t have that, a confident successful Caucasian man who actually says what he is thinking in spite of his and our own particular short comings. Trump is basically right, the West is in dire straits unless it starts electing people who actually have the interests of ordinary folk at heart.
    The progressive collective elites ( the DAVOS set) see aborted children such as, in utero downs babies as a dispensable commodity and the elderly and the mentally depressed as non productive entities and as such commodified and earmarked for the eligibility of euthanasia market. Finally the real scourge of these elite scumbags is the suicide rates of white skin coloured males: multiculturalism and corporate business values has robbed / divested these young men’s sense of self worth, integrity and identity, that, has left them culturally unidentified, destitute and orphaned, (reed basket cases) all in the interests of an immigration policy that is tailored towards global corporate yield, productivity and market growth, commissions and dominance regardless of the cultural consequences or damage to the sense of national pride and the identity of the natural Darwinian idea and Christian ideal of family.
    Peter Dutton why don’t you get the liberal elite off their vacillated backsides and come together as a party in the interests of Australians and Australia and give us the ordinary voter a reason to make Australia great again instead of the the continued option of raw sewerage and recycled sewerage and an ever growing diverse market for a platter of Teal solids). In short Peter why not offer Australians a sense of real Australian identity instead of the quasi Italian Labor union brand of utter garbage for public consumption on display! Why not?

    • Watchman Williams says:

      He wouldn’t be Leader for long if he did that. Ordinary Australians must join a political party to change things. They are the only people who are listened to in our party system. That’s how the ALP turned from the party representing workers to the party crucifying workers. Woke activists colonised the ALP and they have colonised all political parties.
      We are only reaping what we have sown. Neglect of the political system by mainstream Australia leaves it in the hands of the garbage that infests our Parliaments.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    I will be surprised if any Liberal Party leader will ever again win an election on their own merits, just as they rarely have ever done so in the past. Albanese and his government may very well lose the coming election, but despite their glaringly evident incompetence and profound stupidity, the polls consistently continue to show that the ALP is comfortably ahead in two-party preferred terms.
    The ABC, SBS and the Channel Nine media are relentlessly anti-conservative and are unlikely to change. Even The Australian and other Murdoch media are less than staunch supporters of the Coalition, and the radical left controls the schools an universities. The Teals appeal to air-heads, and the Greens appeal to utter fools, but that’s the way of this modern world.

  • whitelaughter says:

    “Who could be surprised that the smart money was all for DeSantis?”
    Err – anyone who thought about it?
    Trump runs on free publicity, and everything you listed was free publicity.

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