In August, one of the most exciting primaries in the Republicans takes place in the sparsely populated state of Wyoming in the United States. There, the politically light-hearted Harriet Hageman wants to take back a seat in parliament from arch-conservative Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, who is also right-wing. Former President Donald Trump works hard for Hageman. Because he really hates Liz Cheney.
For him, she is just a republican by name and works “with the radical left.” Which of course is utter nonsense. However, Cheney denies Trump’s lie that his election victory was stolen from him in 2020.
Donald Trump only supports candidates who are unconditionally loyal to him. This is why he fought incumbent Governor Brian Kemp in the Georgia primaries, as he did not dare to overturn the election results that showed winner Joe Biden. But in the end, Kemp won very clearly.
Alternative candidates are getting ready
Donald Trump’s endorsement no longer guarantees a victory for the Republican primary; having him as an opponent is no longer a political death sentence. In addition to Georgia, the people of Idaho, Nebraska and North Carolina also won against Trump’s protégés.
That’s why the first alternative Trump candidates in the presidential election of 2024 are now emerging from hiding. Not only Mike Pence, who as vice president was unconditionally loyal to Trump. But in Georgia, he sided with Trump’s enemy Brian Kemp. Pence is increasingly openly criticizing his former boss.
Pence is considered pale, he is neither a gifted orator nor a popular figure. But it plans to challenge Trump in 2024. The same goes for former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Unlike Trump, Republicans should no longer mourn a lost 2020 election, but “instead look to the future through the windshield rather than the rearview mirror.”
Trump’s control is waning
Other names are now appearing. Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senators Tom Cotton and Rick Scott, and most of all Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He was a staunch supporter of Trump, but now – to Trump’s annoyance – he refuses to say that he will not stand against him. At least through the gang, they both attack each other.
These are all the first signs that Trump is slipping away from total control of his party. Individual state polls no longer see him as a favorite. But the price his opponents are paying is high: they must largely adopt the political beliefs of a Trump like Chris Christie. Trumpism remains undeniable. Probably without Trump himself. The former president is far from beating in the party. But suddenly he seems defeated.
Diplomatic Correspondent, SRF
Open the people box. Close the people box
The diplomatic correspondent is the deputy editor-in-chief of Radio SRF. Before joining the radio, he was a foreign editor at “St. Galler Tagblatt, editor for the Middle East and Paris correspondent of Zeit, and editor-in-chief of Weltwoche.