The timing of both of these moments is, um, not coincidental. (There are no coincidences in politics.) Let’s dig a little deeper.
Sasse’s office told CNN that he made his critical Trump comments at a tele-town hall with roughly 17,000 Nebraskans on the line. When you want something not to get out, do you usually tell 17,000 of your closest friends? Right. Even if Sasse — or some Sasse ally — didn’t leak the audio to the Examiner, you can rest assured that the senator made these comments for public consumption.
This wasn’t a mistake. This was a strategy.
Ditto Hogan’s decision to sit down for an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday and reveal to the paper that he had written in unassailable conservative hero Ronald Reagan rather than vote for either Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden.
(Sidebar: This is an act of incredibly empty symbolism by Hogan. The governor of a state is saying that the best way to express your unhappiness with the four year of Trump is to … wait for it … throw away your vote on a deceased person? Uh …)
“Hogan’s latest rejection of his party’s standard-bearer comes as he works to expand his political network nationwide ahead of a possible 2024 presidential bid, with a flurry of fundraisers this month for GOP candidates from Vermont to Nebraska who also cast themselves as pragmatic Republicans.”
These are the first of what I would expect to be a number of moves made among aspiring GOP pols looking to get away from what they believe to be the Trump wreckage scattered everywhere in the Republican Party in the first week of November.
In short: The race for the 2024 GOP nomination is already on. And the expectation — among several of the potential candidates in that race — is that the President is headed to a convincing defeat on November 3, a loss that will force a reckoning within the party and open the door for their post-Trump candidacies.