For Eric Greitens and Mo Brooks, ambitions were finally spoiled
President Trump supported interim incumbent Luther Strange, probably because he liked to refer to him as “Big Luther” and because Mitch McConnell likes incumbent. Not so behind the scenes. Then-White House official Steve Bannon and much of the larger Breitbart verse favored Brooks. Only one problem: Protestant politics often have a veto over Republican politics, and perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the “Heart of Dixie”. A Show Horse former chief justice in Alabama who became notorious for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from government lands entered the race. It made the water cloudy and the rest is history.
Bannon had to support Moore in his jihad against McConnell, but then the Moore allegations broke; Moore narrowly forfeited the Democratic seat and the Republican “Scott Brown” moment was born. And that was all before Trump’s animus really got calcified with his Attorney General Jeff Sessions – who originally vacated the seats – which eventually led to the firing of a serious O.G. led. Ally and a second reversal of luck when the ex-cabinet official lost a Senate area code for his old seat last summer, not least because Trump supported future Senator “Coach” Tommy Tuberville.
So there is a lot of history here.
The story Brooks wants to unroll and ultimately transcend as he makes his second Senate bid. Brooks said in January that “today is the day American patriots start jotting and kicking names,” before the Capitol disaster. He rushed into the race alongside former White House consigliere Stephen Miller, in what I believe was his first campaign stop as a civilian (Miller was delighted to address Trump’s rallies in 2016). “No one has had President Trump back in four years more than Mo Brooks. Now you have to have his back. Your vote for Mo Brooks will enable him to continue the America First agenda,” Miller was quoted as saying.
The second major addition to the Senate, like Donald Trump himself, is only recently a Democrat.
Eric Greitens was once unsuccessfully recruited by President Barack Obama himself. Obama has a soft spot for telegenic veterans, heartland veterans, and Rhodes scholars. But unlike today’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Greitens became a Republican governor in Missouri, then quickly an embarrassed Republican governor in Missouri, and is now run by a man with a very different worldview from President Obama. Who else? Mr. Bannon. For the past few months, Greitens has appeared on The War Room with former White House chief strategist, Bannon’s influential, albeit beleaguered podcast, the frequent target of clampdowns by major tech companies.
Greiten’s sex scandal, like Judge Moore’s, was not a good one. Fortunately, however, no minors were involved. The allegations that Greitens attacked and blackmailed a mistress with revenge porn on the subject of bondage came amid an openly confusing Farrago of other alleged misconducts that defined his tenure. This included indignation that his employees were apparently using encrypted messages in violation of state transparency laws and allegations that Greitens had appropriated a list of donors from a veterans charity that he had once spearheaded for his successful gubernatorial campaign. Greitens – as with Nixon, whose impeachment votes were counted behind the scenes – stepped down from governor three years ago in the spring, reportedly in exchange for assurances from the St. Louis prosecutor that they would not blame him for what they did did not.
But now he’s back.
Greitens says he’s an “outsider,” which might actually be pretty true now. “I was a fierce defender of President Trump from day one. DC needs more fighters who will carry on Trump’s America First policy,” Greitens said this week. “I have what it takes to serve” and “America before Biden’s left Protect Agenda “. Greitens is campaigning for the endorsement of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an ally of Bannon and longtime personal advocate of Trump who has left a similar reputation as himself in recent years, aside from ambition and opposition to Biden Greitens’ political prerogatives are fairly unclear (what is his foreign policy? does he have in-depth views on trade nationalism? certainly none to highlight), but a Senate ally of Bannon would be a clear boon to the party’s strong Trumpist wing, or at least a particular one Kind of trumpist.
It would of course be outrageous to Mitch McConnell too.
The minority leader tells the allies on the hill that Greitens is the only man who could blow the seat. He’ll at least privately prefer an alternative, most likely Rep. Ann Wagner, when she runs, as McConnell favors women like former Senator Kelly Loeffler, who, theoretically, but often not, can stop the bleeding of the right in the suburbs, most cascading among white women . Rep. Billy Long, a former auctioneer straight from Americana, and Rep. Jason Smith, who himself has a populist reputation, also watch runs. But at the moment the noise is everywhere in Greitens, in the era of President Trump, the 78-year-old President Biden calculated like many politicians.
“Why not me?”
“Why not now?”