I think NH Gov. Chris Sununu is the type of Repub who could probably win nationally. If Repubs in Congress hadn’t been too chickenshit to take care of their Trump problem during impeachment II, they could have moved on to a Sununu-type candidate for 2024. But they were too chickenshit, so their orange Frankenstein continues its rampage across the land, squeezing the life out of its makers.
WaPo interviewed Sununu (gift link), who said he may toss his chapeau into the ring for 2024 or instead serve as a NH GOP primary “referee,” whatever the hell that means. While his comments indicate he understands the pickle his party is in on one level, they also reveal he’s in denial about how they got there or is too chickenshit to tell the whole truth.
When asked about Trump’s disastrous CNN appearance, Sununu said this:
It was weak. It was defensive. It was bitter. It really was everything that America is not looking for in leadership. And it just reiterated the idea that he cannot win in November. He could get the nomination, but he cannot win in November.
Unlike Sununu, I never say never, but that sounds about right to me. Sununu also called Trump a serial loser and acknowledged that abortion bans are political kryptonite for Repubs nationally. Correct again.
But when questioned about his own tribe, Sununu said DeSantis had moved too far right on abortion not only for the general election, which is true, but for the Repub primary. Has he met his party’s base? Does he know what his party’s activists have been working toward nationally for decades?
When asked how Trump’s relentless 2020 election denial and statements on CNN about pardoning the January 6 mob would play in the GOP primary, he said this:
I definitely think it hurts him in the Republican primary. You can’t just have such denial, such an absence of ownership of what happened both in the election he lost and on Jan. 6. He was a big part of that insurrection.
Again, has he met the base? Writers of large checks and less feral Repub electeds who appear on the Sunday shows (like Chris Sununu) understand that Trump’s antics are putting the party establishment’s ultimate goals (favorable tax treatment for the wealthy and deregulation) at risk.
But so far, they’re too chickenshit to stop him in the only way he can be stopped, which is to turn the tables on the bully and dominate him. It sounds like Sununu is either too chickenshit also or doesn’t understand the base well enough to know what it will take to break the Trump spell.
To reiterate, I never say never, but Sununu sounds like a Sununope to me.