Did you know? The Patriot Post is funded 100% by its readers. Help us stay front and center in the fight for Liberty and support the 2023 Year-End Campaign.

March 10, 2023

‘Can He Pivot?’

If the field clogs up, that will be for voters to decide. The donor class should not think they can shape the field.

I met with some Republican donors last week who wanted my take on the lay of the land headed into 2024. They had concerns about 2024. Most were enamored with the idea of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as president. A handful had been major Trump donors and I expected some of those would still be with him. They are not.

“Can he pivot?” asked one of the women at the event. She gave Trump money in 2016 and 2020. She was asking about DeSantis. She finds him, in her words, “intriguing.” To her and many others in the room, they view DeSantis as the closest to Trump, but with a penchant for pulling the pin on the grenade and throwing it instead of putting it in his mouth.

Her concern echoed through the room. As you might expect, a lot of big donors are not real culture warriors. They may be conservative and may even be socially conservative, but they made their money and want good stewardship. They want to see if DeSantis can pivot to jobs and the economy and not just battling woke businesses. With a recession coming, they are concerned about the candidates’ economic records and policies.

The donors recognize the culture fight helps DeSantis show Trump voters he is with them. But they think he’ll have to persuade independent voters who rejected Trump in 2020, and they think that will require a broadly popular message about the economy.

A couple of the donors have not committed to Nikki Haley, but they are inclined to. They care deeply about foreign policy and think she has a strong head on her shoulders. They appreciate her commitment to Israel. One very vocally pointed out Haley has a great economic record as governor as well as a foreign policy record DeSantis does not have. “She’s got everything everybody says they want,” he opined.

Pence had some cheerleaders too. He seemed a logical successor to Trump. He seemed the most levelheaded. One felt they owed it to Pence given his handling of the vice presidency until the very end. A few said Pence was their guy because they have connected to him on faith and just generally like him. Incidentally, Karen Pence was the only spouse who came up. The Pence supporters in the room love his wife, too.

Everyone, to a person, was perplexed by Vivek Ramaswamy. There were lots of conspiracy theories as to why he was in the race. At least one had clearly talked to the same senator I had talked to who said Ramaswamy is running the most expensive campaign for a Cabinet secretary ever. His name came up as a result of concerns about a crowded field.

I told the donors a crowded field helps Trump. But if the field clogs up, that will be for voters to decide. The donor class should not think they can shape the field. To do so would cause blowback from the base. If they have a few favorites, divide up. If they decide they want to pool their money for just one person, they’ll probably ruin that person.

I told them they should also not do big ad campaigns for candidates. Instead, spend their money on the ground game. Candidates get discounted ad rates. Super PACs do not. The super PAC consultants make a killing with commissions on ads. Most of the ads aren’t very good, the donor gets poor while the consultant gets rich, and the candidate is not helped. See the candidacy of Jeb Bush for example.

I did tell them that if they want to do ads, if only for vanity, they could educate Republican primary voters on Trump’s record, particularly platforming Dr. Anthony Fauci. Ironically, I said that and a few days later the Tucker Carlson text message came out wherein he said, “I hate him passionately” and “(w)e’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There really isn’t an upside to Trump.”

There’s a message there.


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!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


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

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

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 © 2023 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.