Trump's keen insights came to the fore due to endorsements he's been making in a series of races across the country. Trump is both worried that he's "picking the wrong horse" and that his aides might simply be pushing him to endorse candidates with whom they have personal or financials ties (!). I mean, what are the chances that the ultimate con man has surrounded himself with a bunch of snake oil peddlers?
“He’s at times suspicious of the recommendations that people give him when he knows they’re being paid,” a former Trump adviser told Playbook. “He’s been asking who is paying who.”
Let's stop for a second and give Trump some credit for at least briefly visiting the universe the rest of us inhabit—the one in which everyone willing to associate with him, including his kids, are users and grifters.
In fact, Trump started getting cold feet after he endorsed alleged wife beater Sean Parnell for the open Pennsylvania Senate seat at the urging of his son, Don Jr. Parnell finally bowed out of the race last November after he lost custody rights over his kids. Trump also has doubts about backing Rep. Ted Budd (pushed by Mark Meadows) for the North Carolina Senate seat and Rep. Mo Brooks (pushed by Stephen Miller) for the Alabama Senate seat.
But back to Trump's simply brilliant idea to hedge his bets by potentially endorsing two candidates in a single GOP primary.
“I get two chances to win," Trump explained to one of his allies.
Genius! So like, if there's a three-way primary with two Trumpers and one relatively sane Republican, then Trump will entirely dilute his influence, confuse his cultists, and an anti-Trumper might actually emerge victorious.
That wouldn't happen in all cases, but it certainly could in some situations. Most people, instead of diluting their endorsements, actually vet candidates before backing their campaigns. But that would be a lot of work.
Playbook cites several high-profile races where Trump aides are gunning for conflicting endorsements.
— In Ohio, tech billionaire PETER THIEL has been lobbying Trump to pick J.D. VANCE for Senate, while [Kellyanne] Conway works for BERNIE MORENO’s campaign. Neither candidate is a clear frontrunner.
— In the Pennsylvania Senate race, former White House aide DINA POWELL is pushing Trump to endorse her husband, hedge fund magnate DAVID MCCORMICK. But SEAN HANNITY is urging him to back celebrity doctor MEHMET OZ.
— In Arizona, Thiel and Trump’s top political aide SUSIE WILES have been pushing BLAKE MASTERS in the GOP Senate primary. Wiles works for Masters’ super PAC. But former Trump ambassador RIC GRENELL has endorsed JIM LAMON.
Trump's other option is to sit out some of these races, but his allies fear that could give Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell the upper hand on Senate picks.
From a Democratic standpoint, we highly encourage Trump to get involved in as many races as possible. His Senate picks for Georgia (Herschel Walker), Pennsylvania (Sean Parnell), and North Carolina (Ted Budd) have already muddled GOP chances in three of the most important races. Why stop now, Trump?