To the extent that Republicans with 2024 presidential aspirations feared Donald Trump and the wrath of MAGA, NBC reports that the fear is subsiding as potential candidates now anticipate that Trump will be indicted for some kind of felony related to January 6, 2021 (Or perhaps the classified files in Mar-a-Lago, which – in the exact right context, might be just as traitorous as January 6th). It would seem as though Cassidy Hutchinson has set a select type free to start taking concrete steps.
According to NBC:
But Jan. 6 is only one factor in the jockeying to take on the undisputed leader of the GOP, sources say. There’s also the ambition of politicians that’s typical for any end-of-midterm election cycle; a hope Trump won’t run again; a belief by some that he could be indicted as a result of Jan. 6 or his efforts to overturn the election results in Georgia.
Even Republicans who still support Trump aren’t sure that they want him running again, as NBC quotes one GOP Iowa operative Bob Vander Plaats, who states the obvious:
“The best way I can put it, is that if there’s a Trump candidacy — and so many of us respect what he did as president — many are afraid we’re going to end up in an endless debate on the past versus a debate on moving forward in the future,” Vander Plaats said of what he’s hearing “on the ground” in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
Vander Plaats goes on to say that he fears that the debate will be about rigged elections, January 6th, personal grievance, instead of Joe Biden and $5 gas.
Most importantly, the combination of the January 6th hearings along with indications out of Georgia, such as Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger running right over Trump’s attempt to take over the party along with Trump’s own behavior wreaking of weakness lately has taken a lot of the fear out of the equation:
“The fear factor is gone for a lot of consultants and some politicians who otherwise were worried about crossing him,” said one top Republican consultant who, nonetheless, didn’t want to publicly cross Trump and spoke on condition of anonymity.
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