In a move that is unlikely to keep Donald Trump up at night, former Republican congressman Joe Walsh is apparently preparing to announce his candidacy for the presidency. Walsh, a one-time Tea Party spokesman who has found himself disillusioned by Trump’s presidency, is expected to throw his name into the ring as soon as this weekend.
In reporting the radio show host’s ambitions, The New York Times (accurately) said Walsh “stands virtually no chance of wresting the Republican presidential nomination from Mr. Trump.” We’d say even the “virtually” gives Walsh more credit than reality dictates.
Unlike many Republicans, who have found themselves changed from fierce Trump critics into adoring supporters, Walsh has gone in the other direction. Back during the 2016 campaign, Walsh threatened that he was “grabbing his musket” if Trump were to lose to Hillary Clinton. In more recent months, however, Walsh has sounded more like Anthony Scaramucci, Bill Kristol, and the rest of the former Republican establishment that simply can’t deal with Trump and his abrasive personality.
Speaking of the devil…
“Mr. Walsh is being encouraged by William Kristol, the conservative writer and former editor of the now defunct magazine The Weekly Standard,” reports The Times. “Mr. Kristol has been a ‘Never Trump’ Republican since Mr. Trump was elected in 2016 and has been working hard over the past year to recruit someone to run against him.
“Mr. Kristol said Mr. Walsh’s comfort with the in-your-face format of conservative talk radio makes him a potentially more effective combatant against Mr. Trump than someone like William Weld, the genteel former governor of Massachusetts, whose own primary challenge to the president has gained little traction,” the Times continues.
Kristol thinks that Walsh’s association with the Tea Party gives him a leg-up.
“He has a different appeal than Bill Weld,” Kristol told the Times. “The fact that he was a Tea Party congressman who voted for Trump in 2016 gives him an ability to speak to Republican primary voters that ‘Never Trumpers’ like me don’t have.”
We tend to side with Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh, who remarked on Walsh’s presidential aspirations with just two words: “Certain failure.”
That sounds about right.