NBC News reports on the latest bob and weave in Colorado GOP U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea’s downward-trending campaign–having run as fast as he could away from Donald Trump’s locally toxic brand without completely alienating the Republican base, O’Dea is turning to Trump’s Republican predecessor, former President George W. Bush, for support in the coming weeks:
Former President George W. Bush is making a rare appearance on the campaign trail, participating in a fundraiser with Colorado Republican Senate nominee Joe O’Dea in about two weeks.
The event, shared first with NBC News, is another sign that Bush is aligning himself with candidates who have bucked former President Donald Trump. Earlier in this election cycle, Bush held fundraisers for Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and Wyoming GOP Gov. Liz Cheney ahead of their primaries against Trump-backed challengers…
The fundraiser will further bolster O’Dea’s campaign coffers after a strong fundraising quarter. O’Dea’s campaign raised $3 million from July through September, which includes a $1 million loan from O’Dea himself.
That’s not nearly enough compared to the $5 million incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is expected to report for the same period–presumably without a million dollars out of pocket. In fact, in that context it’s kind of silly to call O’Dea’s quarter “strong” at all–but that’s not the purpose of our discussion today.
Think for a moment about what it means for a Republican looking to put distance between themselves and Trump’s Republican Party to embrace who was previous to Trump the least popular Republican President since at least Richard Nixon, George W. Bush–the man who ended forever Republicans’ regard for the popular vote, invaded the wrong country after the worst terrorist attack in American history occurred on his watch, and plunged the nation into (at that time) the worst recession since the 1930s.
After O’Dea’s East Coast tour to kiss the ring of Mitch McConnell and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Rick Scott, followed by in-state appearances with partisan Republican lightning rods like Sen. Tom Cotton, O’Dea’s “post-partisan” branding took a major hit. The Bushes and the Trumps may not like each other, but the idea that former President Bush would be helpful to Joe O’Dea winning a statewide race in Colorado is only slightly misguided than inviting Trump himself.
Only a small group of Republicans fully immersed in the GOP’s internal struggles can’t see this.