Former Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski has said he is “very seriously considering” running for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) seat in 2020. A successful candidacy would go a long way in helping President Trump solidify his hold on the Republican Party in a legislative – and, therefore, the most meaningful – way, which is essential to Trump successfully enacting his Make America Great Again agenda.
Trump supporters can only hope that they may be finally seeing substantive signs of a changing out of the old Republican establishment with reliable allies of the president. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) captured his seat in 2018 at the young age of 39. Staunch Trump advocate Kris Kobach is running to replace retiring warhorse Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). Combine these rumblings with the melting away of RINOs such as former House speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and the newly announced retirement of lightweight Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), and a trend may be developing. It is one the careerists who still linger in the party’s machinery are clearly dreading. This fact alone should boost Trump backers’ hopes that something good is in the works.
They Hate What They Fear
Kobach has been bitterly slammed by establishment Republicans, who say he is too controversial because he supports Trump policies such as strong border security. These threadbare tactics claim to be only concerned with ensuring Republican victory, ignoring the fact that it was Trump who won the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 and then the White House, not the Swamp brand of Republican politics.
This same party line is now being utilized against Lewandowski before he even officially announces he is running. “It makes me extremely nervous,” a “senior Republican advisor” in New Hampshire told the leftist The Daily Beast website, which of course was only to happy to report his pronouncements. “He is as much of a shadow of the president as you can find. That will hurt us down ballot.”
Democrats were quick to go low against the possible rival. New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Josh Marcus-Blank called Lewandowski “a craven lobbyist who has been credibly accused of assault many times.” The assault slur is a loathsome reference to the thoroughly discredited hoax in which former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields accused Lewandowski of roughing her up after a Trump campaign appearance. Subsequent video evidence entirely cleared Lewandowski in the eyes of any truly impartial observer, yet Democrats to this day still feel free to tag him with this ugliest of characterizations.
All of this is meant to point out that Lewandowski is drawing heavy establishment fire, and he has not even stepped onto the battlefield yet. Trump is hosting a rally in Manchester on Aug. 15 that should electrify his supporters in the Granite State. Even if the president does not take the opportunity to explicitly endorse a Lewandowski run, the positive energy of a Trump rally in the state is bound to be a positive for him.
A Winnable Race
And Shaheen is vulnerable. Despite her twice being elected, New Hampshire is very much a toss-up state with a strong and healthy Republican base. Trump lost the state by less than 1% in 2016. Establishment media organ CNBC declared in the wake of the 2018 midterm elections that Shaheen was one of seven sitting senators up for re-election in 2020 most likely to lose their seats.
Michal Biundo, co-founder of RightOn Strategies in Manchester, runs RightVoter, a national political consulting group. He has also served as a senior adviser to President Trump. In a tweet, he declared, “Make no mistake, [Lewandowski] changes the dynamics of this race if gets in, and would be a force to reckon with.”
All the anger thrown Lewandowski’s way is eerily reminiscent of the nonstop vitriol lobbed at Trump by both establishment Republicans and Democrats throughout his presidential run. The danger for these camps in repeating this all-out assault is that it will incite Trump backers to feel the same spirit of gleeful rebellion over outsider Senate runs by Kobach and Lewandowski that they did for the original political Molotov cocktail that was tossed into Washington, D.C. in 2016.
The cold reality is, if Trump truly wants to cement his agenda he needs to see his people elected to office. Does he really want to keep delicately dancing with the likes of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in order to gain their tepid and temporary support on individual matters of the day? Or would he rather turn and see a Sen. Hawley, a Sen. Kobach, and a Sen. Lewandowski waiting in the Senate well to advance his policies across the board?
Donald Trump’s presidential legacy very much depends on the latter scenario playing out before he leaves the Oval Office.