The debate between the two Republican candidates becomes surreal without Trump

The debate between the two Republican candidates becomes surreal without Trump

He has until Friday afternoon, but if Donald Trump is smart, he will report to an Atlanta jail on Wednesday night. Just before eight o’clock, it’s two o’clock in the night in the Netherlands. It will keep the notification on top of excitement for hours. Thus significantly lowering the ratings for the first Republican presidential debate that evening.

In any case, Trump will not appear there. Much to a disappointment Fox News, the right-wing news channel that hosts and broadcasts the debate. The party council said Trump could change his mind until Monday evening. But he has strategic and personal reasons not to go.

Any size discount

His employees advised him not to. After all, Republican voters have long known what he’s worth, and a small majority would like to see him become the party’s nominee again in November 2024. national elections For the primaries, which will be held in all states starting next year, the average is about 54 percent.

His only major opponent at the moment is Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, with only 15 percent. The seven other candidates who are allowed to come to the debate – because donations and opinion polls show they have at least some support – are far behind. Arguing with this group won’t help Trump, but it could hurt him if he’s having a bad night.

Robber fight

The former president hesitated for a long time, because he found a few quarrels with his opponents nothing to sneeze at. But then again he doesn’t care Fox News High viewing figures and associated revenue. The channel still has opinionated anchors who support it through thick and thin, like Sean Hannity, but who also care about its competitors. A recent interview with news editor Bret Baer was downright critical. The former president believes this is treason.

To add more salt to the wound, Trump interviewed former ratings boss Tucker Carlson Fox Newswho started his own interview shop on X (formerly Twitter), following his sudden dismissal. Fox He had to pay massive damages to a voting machine manufacturer, which Carlson and studio guests have repeatedly accused of defrauding Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Surreal debate

to Fox News The new two-track policy is a logical choice. The channel clearly takes into account that different winds can blow in the Republican Party, but it also understands that Trump is currently the master and master there, thanks to the loyalty of a large part of the supporters.

The same goes for the entire Republican Party. And this means that next Wednesday there will be a rather surreal discussion. While everyone should theoretically go after Trump, hoping he will suddenly stop being a leader after the broadcast, only a few will, like Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey.

In fact, if Christie made the expected attack, Ron DeSantis would say something along the lines of, “Trump isn’t here, leave him alone. He’s too weak to stand up for himself here. We’re all campaigning against him, but I don’t think we should get along with someone in This stage is basically auditioning for a show on [de linkse zender] MSNBC. ”

Strategic discussion tips

This statement comes directly from strategic debate advice published by the DeSantis-favored online political action group. the group, never back downAdmittedly, it’s not the big watch, but whoever knows where it is can download it without logging in.

This was a deliberate choice, and has something to do with US laws on campaign contributions. A group that is politically active is not constrained by campaign laws, so it can raise and spend as much money as it wants, as long as it does not consult directly with a candidate or their campaign organization. But there are all kinds of tricks to get out of this limitation. And one of them is to leave documents on the Internet with statements and advice that will be useful to the candidate.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be The New York Times I left the documents to DeSantis You will also find outbut she did.

For example, there have been polls conducted by the Action Group in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states where the first primary votes will be cast early next year. This shows how close some challengers are already in DeSantis’ shoes: In Iowa, the percentages for Trump would be 40, DeSantis 19 and Sen. Tim Scott 12; In New Hampshire Trump 34, DeSantis 16, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy 11 and Chris Christie 8.

Logic goal

With those numbers and the absence of a front-runner, this makes DeSantis the logical target for the other candidates during the debate. What should be his strategy? Therefore, the collection of documents contains detailed advice on this matter. Instead of attacking Donald Trump, he should attack “Joe Biden and the media” 3-5 times. In addition, show “positive vision”, 2-3 times; and “Understatement by Vivek Ramaswamy”.

Now that this advice is on the street, DeSantis is naturally faced with a dilemma. If he chooses a different path, he discards the experts — and highly paid consultants — from his political action pool. But if he follows the advice, you can already expect his rivals to respond: “Good job, Ron, now you’re doing exactly what your advisors recommended you do on page 3.” Or, like a web magazine slate Mock: Prepare your bingo cards.

In these circumstances, the candidate must rely on his spontaneity and verbal flexibility. This is not something DeSantis excels at. Thus, Wednesday’s debate could be a stellar performance, despite Trump’s likely absence. And have a significant impact on the course of the subsequent battle for the Republican nomination. That is if many Republicans are watching. All the more reason to keep an eye on Wednesday afternoon to see if Trump’s plane mistakenly set course for Atlanta.

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