President Trump’s support of Luther Strange seemed odd indeed.
After all, Strange’s opponent, Roy Moore, was the outsider. He was the maverick like Trump. His views aligned more with Trump than Strange’s probably did and Strange was backed by the Swamp people.
Here’s one explanation I ran across:
The latest “Trump is abandoning you” alarm is over Trump’s support for Luther Strange. No one bothers to look at the major Trump agenda votes coming up in the next couple of weeks, counts Republican vote heads and put themselves in Trump’s place.
Would we rather he remain a purist by supporting Moore or deliver on as good a repeal of Obamacare as we’re likely to get and a great tax cut package?
Personally, I think Moore wins the primary and takes the Senate seat in January. Meanwhile, Trump needs Luther Strange’s vote in the Senate this month and next – and McConnell’s reluctant agreement to not sabotage Trump’s agenda as he has in the past.
And conservative Bill Mitchell tweeted, “Trump never wanted Strange. That was a pure leverage move to get GOPe support for #TaxReform. Moore didn’t need Trump, Trump needs GOPe.”
Agreed. Trump had put himself in the win-win situation. If Strange prevailed, Trump would be able to call upon him when he needed a vote. If Moore won, Moore would be in line with the Trump ideas.
Steve Bannon supporting Moore may also seem at odds with the president, but I see it more as a good cop, bad cop situation. Bannon the gadfly can get opposition motivated in ways the president cannot.
Now Moore has had a decisive win. He won by 9 points. It gives Trump a way to attack McConnell as well. Trump can point to Strange’s defeat to show that the GOPe is failing and will be primaried heavily in 2018. RINOs failed. Corker acknowledged their failure yesterday when he announced he won’t run for reelection. Strange’s down in the polls numbers may have cast Corker’s vote to step down.
Never underestimate Trump’s ability to play 3D chess. He’s been a master at it.