Tuesday night’s election results made it clear, if there was any doubt, that Donald J. Trump’s influence within the Republican Party is unrivaled in modern political history. More than the Bush dynasty, the Cheney legacy or any other party leader.
What Trump has done is simply remarkable. (RELATED: LEWANDOWSKI: Here’s why President Trump should wait to announce his 2024 campaign)
Liz Cheney’s battery in the Wyoming primary was, by any measure, a devastating blow to the “old guard.” First, let’s look at the numbers. Liz received less than 29% of the votes cast in the primary while Trump-backed Harriet Hageman got more than 66%. I can’t remember a time in recent politics where an incumbent, who hasn’t been charged or under investigation, got such a small percentage of the vote while trying to get re-elected.
Wyoming is a Republican stronghold. Only once since 1948 has the electorate backed a Democratic presidential candidate. It was 1964 when people supported Lyndon Johnson.
In 2016, Wyoming offered the largest general election margin of victory for Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton. Trump carried the state by 46 points. In 2020, President Trump trumped Wyoming over Joe Biden by a 43-point margin of victory. Trump received 69% to 26% for Joe Biden.
But Tuesday night was special for Trump. He and his team are actively working to recruit AND financially support a strong candidate to take on Liz Cheney. They helped clear the field of potential rivals, conducting interviews with potential candidates, and settled on Harriet.
Once the decision was made, everyone was on deck – from the outside effort to the team she hired to manage the day-to-day operations of the campaign, she not only had Trump’s imprimatur, but also the Trump team.
Was anyone (other than some members of the media) genuinely surprised at what Trump was able to accomplish? When he entered the presidential race in 2015, he was up against, some might say, the most powerful political dynasty in American history – the Bush family.
We all know that George HW Bush was President (41 years old) and his son George W. Bush (43 years old) and that Jeb was Governor of Florida and George W. Governor of Texas (during the same period) but many forget that Prescott Bush was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut from 1952 to 1963. And, who could forget, Jeb’s son, George P. Bush, served as Texas Land Commissioner until his recent defeat as Attorney General.
The Bush family is practically defeated by the political parties now. I don’t need to remind people of the long-running feud between Mr. Trump and Sen. John McCain — who was also the GOP’s nominee for president in 2008. The McCain family now serves in the Biden administration… an inadmissible thought barely a decade ago.
Finally, who could forget Willard Mitt Romney. The Republican former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP presidential nominee. Mitt is now the junior U.S. senator from Utah and his public battles with Trump have been widely documented. Mitt is slated to appear before Utah voters in just over two years… exactly at the same time as the next presidential election.
Now, I’m no bettor, but I’d bet that Trump plans to spend some time in Utah “educating” voters on who Mitt Romney really is.
Donald Trump has taken on every family of the political elite for the past 70 years – and won. Tuesday was another step on his road to completely remaking the GOP in his image.
His job is almost done… another two years and Romney will be gone, and Trump can make America great again.
Corey Lewandowski is Donald J. Trump’s former campaign manager for President 2016.
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