Lewis Morris / May 31, 2022

Donald Trump: The Art of the Endorsement

The former president has continued to take an active role in shaping the future of the Republican Party.

Most ex-presidents are happy to parlay their White House tenure into millions of dollars on book deals, speaking engagements, and high-level corporate advisement and investing. They may engage in backstage political string-pulling from time to time, but in public they act as though they’re above politics and have moved on pleasantly into their emeritus years.

Not Donald Trump. The trappings of being a presidential retiree never attracted him.

He was a millionaire to begin with and always a bigger celebrity than any former president. He has the energy and verve of a much younger man. He never tires of the spotlight, and deal-making is in his blood. All these factors, including his well-documented love affair with himself, will not allow him to sit on the sidelines while he still believes he can effect change.

More to the point, though, Trump’s got something to prove. He wants to set the record straight on 2020 and its aftermath. He left office under a cloud — being tied to January 6, a show-trial second impeachment, and his refusal to concede the shady 2020 election. He wants to reclaim what he feels was stolen from him and from the American people — his rightful shot at a second term.

The most effective way for Trump to remain a viable political commodity is through endorsements of other candidates. Helping to get the right people elected in the right places demonstrates that Trump still has juice. It will also help him build an effective national support network should he choose to run in 2024.

So, how’s he doing?

Since taking office in 2017, Trump has practiced what can only be called the Art of the Endorsement. He got heavily involved in federal and statewide elections when he became president. He recognized early that Democrats and the media were out to sabotage his presidency, so he bypassed the usual channels and went straight to the public.

Trump did more than seek like-minded candidates in key districts and states. He chose high-profile races and candidates to send a message to the media and the national electorate. With these endorsements, though, came the risk of high-profile stumbles and gleeful media attacks about his diminished political clout. But Trump persevered.

Throughout his four years in office, Trump issued 305 endorsements in congressional, statewide, and special elections. His win record in the regular season was 200-87, which included mostly incumbents and a few safe bets, but 63 of those wins were in open elections or elections in which Republicans challenged the incumbent. Notably, Trump’s presidential endorsement record in special elections was 13-5. Special elections are traditionally an area where presidents are reluctant to get involved. These contests generally draw more national attention than they deserve and are often framed by the media, fairly or otherwise, as referendums on a president’s performance. Here, Trump’s desire to jump into the fray certainly paid off.

Trump’s post-presidential endorsements have been closely watched, and with good reason. If his candidates do well, then his 2024 presidential run is all but assured. The mainstream media, still suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, has trumpeted Trump’s waning influence after last week’s primaries, particularly in Georgia, where his candidate for governor, former Senator David Perdue, got walloped by the incumbent, Brian Kemp.

Karl Rove is one of the most astute political strategists of our time, but he too is afflicted with TDS. His take on the Ohio and Georgia primaries was that Trump’s impact was either hollow or a net drag on the Republican Party.

What Rove fails to mention is that Kemp’s victory in the gubernatorial primary was a foregone conclusion. Trump’s endorsement of Purdue was never going to move the needle, but he felt compelled to make a statement because he believed that Georgia was one of the states in which electoral malfeasance cost him reelection. Call it ego, call it hubris, but Trump may have known from the start that Purdue couldn’t deliver.

Politico likewise has tried to mute Trump’s political impact, reporting after last week’s primaries that “his win-loss record took a hit.” Well, it wasn’t a big hit. Of the 101 endorsements Trump has made in primaries that have already taken place, his record is 94-7. Again, a majority of those were for incumbents and in safe districts, but it’s hardly a signal that the bloom is off the rose.

There are many more primaries ahead, and of course the big test of Trump’s political clout will come in November. The bottom line is that Donald Trump is still a powerful force to be reckoned with, despite the best efforts of Democrats, the Never-Trump wing of the Republican Party, and the mainstream media. He still manages to communicate his message and keep his brand alive, even though all the major social media outlets have conspired to silence him. The news media plays up his few defeats and chooses to ignore his multitude of victories.

Trump rose to power in the first place because the media and his political opponents underestimated him, tried to diminish him, and then bent the narrative to their own will. They don’t appear to have learned their lesson. Perhaps Trump will school them once again.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.