Campaign Quick Hits
The Future of the GOP, Part 6,427: Tim Griffin is the current Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas. Before that, he was a U.S. Attorney and two-term congressman from the state. So it won’t surprise you to learn that this past summer, Griffin announced he was running for governor. And since March 2020, he had raised $1.3 million toward that goal. But two weeks ago, former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she too was throwing her hat in the ring for governor. In just a few days, she matched his nine-month fundraising haul. Reading the writing on the wall, Griffin announced this week that he has changed his mind and will run for Attorney General instead, leaving Huckabee Sanders a clear path to the governor’s mansion that her father occupied from 1996-2007.
Election Misinformation Has Consequences: Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed Monday reporting from Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin that costs associated with deploying the National Guard to secure the Capitol from Jan. 6 through March 15 are $483 million. Just imagine what else we could have spent a half a billion dollars on this year!
Jonah Made a Point: In one of his recent G-Files, Jonah (quoting a great column by Amy Walter) noted that just 20 years ago, “30 senators—10 Republicans and 20 Democrats—represented a state that voted for the other party’s presidential nominee.” But now, “34 out of 35 winning Senate candidates were of the same party as the candidate who won the presidential race in that state,” and only four senators who won in 2020 hail from states that the other party’s presidential candidate won: West Virginia, Maine, Montana, and Ohio. To find out where this leads, check out David French’s book starting around page 119. Spoiler alert: it ain’t good.
Democrats’ 2022 ‘Duh’ Strategy: Dan Merica recently spoke with senior Democratic operatives to talk about their chances in 2022. Their strategy is twofold: first, “get the coronavirus pandemic under control and campaign on policy believed to be broadly popular” and then “ link vulnerable Republicans to some of the most extreme members in their party, hoping to fan the flames of conflict highlighted by far-right members like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.” On the one hand, I could mock how obvious this strategy is and how it has basically been both sides’ playbook for decades. Trying to pass “do popular stuff, highlight how bad other guys are” as groundbreaking campaign wisdom is like bragging that you can move food from the table to your mouth. (In fairness, this is something my soon-to-be 8-month old son absolutely cannot do, despite how patiently I’ve tried to explain to him.) But then I’d have to tell you why it has been the playbook for decades: It works. And I did enjoy the National Republican Congressional Committee’s comeback when Merica asked for their reaction: “No one knows how to light money on fire better than the DCCC.” Touché, but they still have the speaker’s gavel, now don’t they?