Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the first Republican to take a serious step toward challenging Pres. Trump in 2020, says the president "is simply too unstable to carry out the duties of the highest executive office in the land." https://t.co/sGRipX5G5Z pic.twitter.com/cOWdYn7nXy
— ABC News (@ABC) February 15, 2019
I feel no shame in admitting I voted for Governor Bill Weld, and not just because the alternative was John Silber. As I remember it, Bill Weld was denied his hoped-for promotion to Ambassador mostly because Jesse Helms was a vicious little bigot. I suspect that Weld looks at current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and sees the same fat, fatuous, self-satified Southern hypocrisy squatting on the corpse of the American Dream. Per The Root:
… As America watches developments in Robert Mueller’s investigation, Trump’s national emergency has just begun. Weld, the former Libertarian VP candidate who supports legal abortion, has a no chance of securing the nomination. Even the #NeverTrump contingency of the GOP would be hard-pressed to throw their support behind the comparatively liberal Weld.
Still, Weld’s presence may prove damaging despite his uphill climb to the RNC. Trump, frequently provoked by slights real and imagined, would be likely to embarrass himself in response to a Weld quote via social media. In the especially unlikely event of a televised debate, Trump would be likely to find himself out of his depth. Weld, the federal prosecutor turned two-term governor who missed out on an ambassadorship to Mexico during the Clinton administration due to his support for needle exchanges and legal marijuana.
Weld is banking on fond memories of New Hampshire voters who remember him fondly from his time running the Bay State. The Libertarian who ran alongside Gary Johnson might find support in a state without motorcycle helmet laws.
The last two incumbents to face a serious primary challenge wound up losing. Here’s hoping history repeats itself.
— Esquire (@esquire) February 15, 2019
… There are problems with his record. His time as U.S. attorney coincided with some of the bloodiest moments in the unholy alliance between the late gangster Whitey Bulger and the Boston office of the FBI. And he does tend to, well, lose interest in things. But he has one thing that is a pre-requisite for anyone planning to run against El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago—Bill Weld truly doesn’t give a damn.
He is the last of the old-time Massachusetts WASP politicians, born into privilege and groomed for public service. He knows who he is back 10 generations. You are not going to be able to shake him with a stupid nickname or some middle-school cafeteria taunts. He can still summon up that lordly WASP disdain for the lower orders, but he can do it leavened with self-mockery, too. And, at the moment, despite all the endless soul-searching among more prominent Republicans, Weld actually looks to be getting into The Arena, as his former in-law Teddy Roosevelt once put it: Run, Bill, Run.
Bill Weld is one of those old-line, white-shoe Repubs whose contempt for a two-bit Queens hustler drives Donny Dollhands even further out of his tiny addled mind. Once Trump overcomes the post-’emergency’ declaration meds and the exhaustion of travelling all the way to Mar-a-Largo, he’ll be squatting on his gilt-plated throne frantically seeking just the right insulting nickname for his new nemesis… if he doesn’t stroke out first.
Furthermore, Liz Mair may be evil but she ain’t wrong here:
Good analysis by a knowledgeable and thinking Republican: If former MA Gov Weld weakens Trump in NH it won’t take him out but it will redefine the general election against Trump. https://t.co/AdBgIYzGkY
— John Dean (@JohnWDean) February 15, 2019
… Weld was the governor of Massachusetts between 1991 and 1997. What state neighbors Massachusetts, sits within the Boston media market, and over the last 20 to 30 years happens to have become home to a huge number of moderate-conservative types who normally vote Republican and have exiled themselves from “Taxachusetts”—but many of whom still commute in to Boston for work every day?
That’s right, it’s New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation primary, a virtually non-existent tax regime, and a propensity for the weird…
Weld is well-known in the state whose motto is “Live Free or Die,” and he undoubtedly has better currency there, because of all these factors plus one more: He was the 2016 Libertarian vice presidential nominee in a year when the Libertarian ticket got about 3.3 percent of the vote nationwide and 4.2 percent in the Granite State itself. Tack on some aggrieved #NeverTrumpers who voted for Clinton in 2016 but will play in a GOP primary contest in 2020, plus independents and moderate-to-libertarian Republicans who have fond memories of Weld, and it’s pretty conceivable that Weld could get to 10 percent or higher.
That is especially so since during 2016, Weld arguably had higher visibility than the actual presidential nominee, Gary Johnson—a trend he’d likely continue in 2020, because Weld handles himself well on TV. He’s clever and funny, a good recipe for a cable news interview…
I’d like to see television news give Bill Weld’s anti-Trump protest campaign at least as much attention as Howard Schultz’s pro-Trump protest campaign but I’m guessing it won’t happen.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 15, 2019