President Donald Trump has massive sway among Republican voters. Unfortunately, his sway within Republican leadership has fallen since the 2020 election was stolen from him. That’s the only possible reason I can think of for why he refuses to either call on RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel to step down or to throw his support behind either of the two contenders, both of whom are unambiguous allies.
McDaniel is not Trump’s ally. She has repeatedly blamed the lack of a 2022 “red tsunami” on “poor candidates,” and while she has not directly attached Trump’s name to the candidates that he supported who lost, the insinuation is crystal clear.
One can argue that she, more than anyone else in the party, is responsible for three consecutive losing campaign seasons, including the one in which Trump had his victory stolen. So why won’t he denounce her? Why won’t he engage in one of his famous attacks against her? Is he scared that if he goes after her and she wins, that he will lose credibility? Yes, but it seems to be bigger than that. It appears that whoever is advising him has made him believe that he needs the RNC in order to win the GOP nomination in 2024. This isn’t true, but he’s playing nice nonetheless.
When given the opportunity to side with Harmeet Dhillon or Mike Lindell over McDaniel, Trump remained uncharacteristically neutral. According to Breitbart:
“Harmeet is a lawyer for me you know,” Trump said when asked about the two candidates. “Harmeet is my lawyer.”
When asked whether that means he favors her or McDaniel—the current chair whom Trump selected after his 2016 White House victory and backed again in her subsequent reelection as chair—he declined to pick a specific candidate.
“I think they’re both good,” Trump said. “I like them both. It’s like when I asked Queen Elizabeth when we were together: ‘Which president did you like the best?’ She said: ‘I liked them all.’ ‘Which one did you like the best?’ ‘I liked them all. They’re all great.’ I said, ‘But didn’t you like Ronald Reagan the best?’ She said: ‘No I liked them all. I liked Ronald Reagan very much, but I liked them all.’ Then I said: ‘Which prime minister did you like the best? Was it Winston Churchill?’ ‘I like them all. I like every one.’ Then I realized how smart she was. I said, you know that’s why she stayed there for 75 years.’”
Dhillon has worked for him directly. Lindell has been the most unabashed and consistent corporate supporter throughout Trump’s presidency and beyond. Romney has done nothing but lose since taking the helm in 2017, during which time she squandered two slam dunk elections to voter fraud and fecklessness. This is a no-brainer. He needs to help give her the boot. He doesn’t have to support Dhillon or Lindell necessarily but coming out against McDaniel would be a powerful move.
Instead, we get the weakness of neutrality in the most important decision for the Republican Party from now until the primaries begin. That’s not okay. Support for McDaniel is waning. Trump could hammer the nail into the coffin by making a bold statement that she has failed miserably for three terms and does not deserve a fourth. It could be enough to finally remove the RINO. Even if it isn’t enough and she wins anyway, denouncing her now would allow him enough time to “play nice” and mend the fence before the primaries if he chose to do so (though I would hope he wouldn’t).
The RNC could be an important piece of the election puzzle in 2024. It has been absent in the last three elections, doing nothing that has been effective and some things that have been counterproductive. Trump needs to get off the fence on this one.