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The GOP's Future Is With a Governor, Not Trump

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Megan Varner, File

DeSantis, Kemp and Abbott.

Those governors were not just the Republican Party’s brightest stars in this week’s disappointing midterm elections. With their smashing victories Tuesday night, they showed us they’re the future of the GOP – and the party’s best hope for retaking the White House in 2024.


Ron DeSantis in Florida, Brian Kemp in Georgia and Greg Abbott in Texas – each could move into the White House and quickly begin fixing the serious economic, immigration and fiscal fiascos Biden and Democrats have created.

Other Republican governors who could be capable presidents are out there, too. Kristi Noem of South Dakota comes to mind. So does Nikki Haley, the ex-governor of South Carolina.

But what about that other guy? You know, that crazy ex-president reality-TV guy from New York with the red hats and the huge campaign rallies? Trump, I think his name was.

Well, he wasn’t actually running for anything this week – just stirring political things up in his usual divisive and headline-grabbing way.

But as just about every TV pundit, party mouthpiece and political editorial writer in America has been saying with glee since Wednesday morning, Donald Trump was this week’s biggest loser.

And, sadly, they’re right.

The positive and negative results of the midterms prove that Republicans can – and should – move forward without Trump.

Trump’s great work for the party is done.

But despite all his remaining political power and his undiminished appeal to millions of “MAGA” Republicans, our most un-presidential ex-president has become the Democrats’ best political weapon.

This week showed that they can still use Trump as a battering ram and a bogeyman to discredit and defeat top-quality Republican candidates.


In a column in August of 2021, after a Trump-endorsed candidate lost in a special House election, I saw this Trump problem coming.

I wrote that I was worried he had become a problem for a minority political party that always has to capture the votes of independents and moderate Democrats if it hopes to win in the general elections.

“Donald Trump becomes a double-edged sword — you want his endorsement for the Republican primary, but because of him in the general election you’re liable to lose independents, suburban women and moderate Democrats.

I wrote that the loss by a Republican in a House race in Texas that he should have easily won “could be a wake-up call for the GOP’s leaders – a warning that Trump’s power within the Republican Party could hurt their big plans for next fall.”

OK, so sometimes even I can see the future.

But it was pretty obvious then and it’s more obvious now – Trump is a liability for the GOP and it should now look to its younger generation of all-star governors for leadership.

With the Great Red Wave never showing up except in Florida – where it hit like a Category 12 hurricane – the most positive results from Tuesday – other than likely taking back the House from Nancy Pelosi – were the easy wins by those governors.

The blindly loyal Democrat voters of Pennsylvania proved they don’t care how unqualified or unhealthy or leftwing their candidates are by electing poor John Fetterman to the U.S. Senate.


But smarter, less tribal voters in Georgia, New York, Texas and elsewhere showed us on Tuesday they are tired of both political extremes. That’s why the Senate is 50 – 50.

Normal Americans just want the economy fixed, the border fixed and the crime wave fixed so they can live in peace and prosperity.

DeSantis, Kemp, Abbot and other governors like them make the best presidential candidates for Republicans.

They’re the ones who know how to fix things and get things done. Unlike senators, or New York billionaires, as the chief executives of their states they come to Washington with the valuable experience they need to run a government.

If voters don’t put a governor in the Oval Office, you won’t get a competent executive, you’ll get a bumbling sales manager.


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