Tuesday night’s election results made it crystal clear, if there was even any doubt left, that Donald J. Trump’s influence in the Republican party is unrivaled by anyone in modern political history. More than the Bush Dynasty, the Cheney legacy, or any other party leader.
What Trump has done is nothing short of remarkable.
Liz Cheney’s drumming in the Wyoming primary was, by any metric, a devastating blow to the “Old Guard.” First, let’s just look at the numbers. Liz received less than 29% of the vote cast in the primary while Trump-backed Harriet Hageman secured over 66%. I can’t remember any time in recent politics when an incumbent, who has not been indicted or under investigation, secured such a small percentage of the vote while attempting to seek re-election.
Wyoming is a Republican stronghold. Only once since 1948 has the electorate there supported a democrat candidate for president. That was in 1964 when the people supported Lyndon Johnson.
In 2016, Wyoming delivered the largest margin of victory in the general election for Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton. Trump carried the state by 46 points. In 2020, President Trump carried Wyoming over Joe Biden by a 43 point margin of victory. Trump received 69% to Joe Biden’s 26%.
But Tuesday night was special for Trump. He and his team actively work to recruit AND financially support a strong candidate to take on Liz Cheney. They helped to clear the field of potential rivals, conducting interviews with prospective candidates and settled on Harriet.
Once the decision was made it was all hands on deck – from the outside effort to the team she hired to run the day to day operations of the campaign, it not only had the Trump imprimatur it actually had the Trump team.
Was anyone (other than some members of the media) really surprised what Trump has been able to accomplish? When he entered the race for President in 2015, he was taking on, some might argue, the most powerful political dynasty in American history – the Bush family.
We all know that George H. W. Bush was President (41) and so was his son George W. Bush (43) and that Jeb was governor of Florida and George W. governor of Texas (during the same time period) but many forget that Prescott Bush was a U.S. senator from Connecticut from 1952-1963. And, who could forget that Jeb’s son George P. Bush served as Land Commissioner of Texas until his recent defeat for Attorney General.
The Bush family is all but vanquished from party politics now. I don’t need to remind people of the long-standing feud between Trump and Sen. John McCain – who also served as the GOP’s nominee for president in 2008. The McCain family is now serving in the Biden administration … an unconscionable thought just a decade ago.
Lastly, who could forget Willard Mitt Romney. The former Republican Governor of Massachusetts and GOP nominee for President in 2012. Mitt now serves as the junior U.S. senator from Utah and his public battles with Trump have been widely documented. Mitt has to stand before the voters of Utah in just over two years … the exact same time as the next presidential election.
Now, I’m not a betting man but I would be willing to wager that Trump plans to spend some time in Utah “educating” the voters of who Mitt Romney really is.
Donald Trump has taken on all of the political elite families of the last 70 years — and won. Tuesday was another step on his road to fully remaking the GOP in his likeness.
His work is almost complete … two more years and Romney will be gone, and Trump can Make America Great Again.
Corey Lewandowski is the former campaign manager to Donald J. Trump for President 2016.
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