Names his choice to fill open Senate seat, not Trump’s
Kelly Loeffler will be the new Senator from Georgia, appointed by that state’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp. That’s because Senator Johnny Isakson, also a Republican, is leaving at the end of the month for health reasons.
So big question is why Kemp, whom Trump personally rallied for in Macon, right before Election Day in 2018, would choose not to return the favor? And instead appoint a businessperson who’s half owner of a WNBA team and promotes Bitcoin futures, over an attorney and Air Force chaplain Trump prefers, who’s also one of the fastest-rising starts in the “fierce Trump wing” of the Republican Party?
We almost definitely are reading too much into this, but we found it interesting nonetheless that when we looked back at video of the rally on C-SPAN, Trump and Kemp keep a lot of physical space between each other when they’re together on stage, much more than Trump typically does with people he’s supporting. Also, Kemp gobbles up almost 5 minutes of Trump’s rally with his own blathering, apparently not hearing about or disregarding the guidance that the shorter you cut in to the President’s time, the more he likes you, because it takes less of the spotlight away from him.
Although, come to think of it, maybe Trump did want to distance himself at the time, at least a bit from Kemp, because he won a very narrow victory over nationally-popular Democrat Stacey Abrams. And it was a race that could’ve gone either way. And that might also play into Loeffler’s appointment: one of the first things Kemp mentions in his news release announcing the move is that the Senator-designate is the “first female Senator in nearly 100 years” from the state.
Something Kemp doesn’t mention in his release: Loeffler has tons of money, and is, according to Politico, already committing $20-million to her own campaign, which is good because she’ll have to run for the seat in 2020, when there’ll be a lot of competition for money among Republicans, so her own great personal wealth takes a great deal of pressure off the Republican National Committee in that key state.
But Loeffler is not who Trump wanted, and there’s good reason for this, if you’re the President.
He favored Representative Doug Collins, currently the ranking Republican member on the House Judiciary Committee, and reliable Trump attack dog. Collins says he may run for Senate next year anyway, and he’s certainly created enough of a splash to be capable of raising money on his own.
If you’re paying attention to things like this, you’ve probably seen Collins in action this week as impeachment efforts move apace through the House Judiciary Committee.
Had Collins been the pick then, he would’ve been able to take his brash and flashy Trump-trouper act from the House over to the Senate, since he’d have been moving from one to the other in near-perfect sync with the proceedings against the President. Teeth bared. Trump may not need Collins’ histrionic anti-Democrat gnashing in the Senate as much as in the House, because he’s got a majority of Republicans there already. But there’s no doubt Collins’ absence as the impeachment process (probably) moves to the Senate (except on Fox, where he’ll show up no matter what anyway), does leave Trump at least a tiny bit more toothless.