According to reports, President Trump went to bed “embarrassed and pissed” after learning that he had backed a loser in Alabama’s Republican Senate primary.
One can hardly blame him. At the urging of Republican wise men (try not to giggle) the president threw all of his substantial influence behind Luther Strange: He tweeted for him, he held a raucous rally for him in Huntsville on the Friday before the election, he even gave him a nickname, “Big Luther.”
The nickname reminds me of Margaret Thatcher’s arch observation: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
Still, in a deep red state that the president won by 28 points, where, barring the intervention of venomous fate, the Republican primary is the election that picks the next senator, the candidate Trump backed took a beating. In fact, it wasn’t close.
Judge Roy Moore’s victory in Alabama closely resembled Trump’s own win in November: He was opposed by the Republican establishment and their corporate and D.C. allies, he was the object of scurrilous ad hominem attacks on himself and his family, and he was dramatically outspent. Some sources say the Republican leadership and their friends spent $30 million to Moore’s roughly $2 million. Yet, the race was never really competitive. Moore pulled away from Strange early and never looked back.
So how did Moore win and what does it mean for the future of the Republican Party? He did what Trump himself did last year: He made the case for a populist-nationalist agenda that respects and protects the middle and working class and that honors this country’s history and her.
Read the rest at The Hill.