Relentless Matt Gaetz; Plus, Glenn Youngkin, Still Teasing a Run
Author: Greg Valliere
October 3, 2023
SO THE DEMOCRATS ARE ASKING — If we save McCarthy’s job, what do we get in return? First, more spending, probably a return to the debt ceiling numbers that were set in early summer. Second, more aid — fast — for Ukraine. Third, some procedural reforms on committees; and Fourth, the one theme where there’s some agreement — border/immigration reform.
BUT MOST DEMOCRATS SEEM TO AGREE — Why should we bail out McCarthy? He’s not trustworthy, Democrats say, and there’s the guilty pleasure of watching Gaetz splinter the GOP with his relentless drive to oust McCarthy. And then there’s the impeachment inquiry, imposed on the House by McCarthy without a vote.
IT’S TOO EARLY TO MAKE A CALL on whether the Democrats will bail out McCarthy; we’re carefully watching House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who has not taken a firm position. We’re hearing that he soon may make a proposal to McCarthy, who would REALLY encounter Republican opposition if he cut a deal with the Democrats.
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ON THE PRESIDENTIAL FRONT, desperate Republican insiders are looking for anyone other than Donald Trump as the 2024 nominee — and they have mounted one last effort to draft Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who still appears to be mulling a late entry into the race. State filing deadlines begin in November.
YOUNGKIN IS PLANNING a retreat for wealthy GOP activists on Oct. 17-18. This has not been billed as the beginning of a campaign, but the retreat is viewed as a last-chance effort to “push, if not shove, Youngkin into the Republican presidential race,” according to veteran political reporter Robert Costa.
THIS MUCH APPEARS LIKELY: Party leaders have given up on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has run a lackluster campaign. Only Nikki Haley has gained much traction, which has prompted Trump to give her an absurd nickname — “Birdbrain.” We have no idea where that came from; she would eviscerate Trump in a one-on-one debate.
YOUNGKIN HAS PLENTY OF MONEY, he has a decent amount of charisma, and he’s still popular in Virginia, where upcoming state-wide elections will be a test of his strength. He is quite conservative on social issues.
BUT YOUNGKIN’S INDECISION ABOUT RUNNING — reminiscent of Mario Cuomo in a long-gone era — has annoyed Republicans, who will push him hard later this month to take the plunge. But why should he? No one outside of Virginia has heard of him, and Trump has a lock on the party. There’s one argument that Youngkin or Haley could use effectively — Trump could lose the general election, and drag the House and Senate down with him.
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