The Corner

White House

Who Wants Bill Weld?

I thought that John Kasich was the worst possible choice to challenge Donald Trump. I was wrong. He at least won an election in a swing state. 

Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld is going to contest the Republican nomination. Who wants this? What is his rationale? 

NR readers don’t particularly need another long rehearsal of Donald Trump’s character issues: The affairs, the tweets, the sleaze-ball associations, the divisiveness, his tweets. We know it all.  These will remain liabilities for him in another presidential campaign. 

But, as a political matter, Donald Trump was able to win the office. And his promise of appointing conservative justices has been amply fulfilled. He has unfilled promises, particularly to immigration restrictionists, but is Bill Weld interested in challenging him on that terrain? I doubt it.

Weld is a moderate Republican who had a lark as a libertarian vice presidential nominee in 2016. But his political persona is unlikely to help him. Trump has an immoderate temperament, sure. But Trump actually moved to the center on entitlement and welfare issues in the 2016 campaign, and voters perceived this to be the case. 

There is some evidence young Republicans want to see a primary. But most Republicans are not young. Trump kept his promises to social conservatives, and successfully allayed the concerns of economic moderates. There is not a socially liberal wing of the party waiting for Bill Weld.

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