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They all lost because they didn’t lick his boots eagerly enough

They all lost because they didn't lick his boots eagerly enough

by digby


What a guy:

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that former Sen. Dean Heller lost his re-election bid last fall because the Nevada Republican had been “extraordinarily hostile” to him during the 2016 election and had alienated the conservative base.

“What happened with Dean Heller is, I tried for him,” Trump said during a sit-down with regional reporters in the Oval Office. But he said hard-core voter base “did not believe me. They wouldn’t go for him.”

In November, Heller was defeated by Democrat Jacky Rosen, who won 50 percent of the vote to his 45 percent.

“It’s past as far as I’m concerned,” Heller told the Review-Journal when told of Trump’s comments. “This president called me that day before the election and said I was going to win by five points. Now all of sudden he has a different spin on that. Not surprising. I think America’s used to that.”

Trump accused Heller of leaving the impression that he had voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.

“But the worst he said was ‘no comment,’ which is essentially the same” as saying he voted for Clinton, Trump contended. “When a senator walks out of a voting booth and he’s a Republican and he says ‘no comment,’ that’s not a good sign.”

It was for that reason, Trump said, that he did not nominate Heller to be his next Interior secretary. Heller had been considered a leading candidate to replace former Secretary Ryan Zinke, but on Monday, Trump nominated acting Secretary David Bernhardt for the job.

“I just could never get my base excited on him,” Trump said, before he added, “I like him a lot.”


And yet, Heller keeps slurping. Why? Because he is an invertebrate who has no self-respect.

“I consider the president a friend,” Heller told the Review-Journal. “I like him. I just hate to respond to these kind of comments. He did a lot of good for me in my campaign.”

Trump campaigned for Heller twice in Las Vegas and once in Elko as political prognosticators identified the Nevadan as the most vulnerable Republican in the Senate.

Heller, who had never lost an election, was the only GOP senator to run for re-election last fall in a state Clinton had won in 2016. Trump lost the Silver State by a margin of 2.5 percentage points.

Sig Rogich, veteran Nevada Republican strategist, said he didn’t agree with the assessment of why Heller lost.

“I don’t agree with that necessarily. I think Heller ended up supporting the president on important issues. I think people respected that,” Rogich said.

“I think you’ve got to credit Democrats for being organized and getting their people to vote,” he said. “That’s why Republicans lost so overwhelmingly in November.”

Before they became political allies, both Trump and Heller had to overcome early misgivings. Leading up to the 2016 general election, Heller said that he was “100 percent against Clinton, 99 percent against Trump.”

Heller remained coy about how he voted – “I kept it to myself,” he recalled Wednesday — until August 2017 when he publicly revealed that he had voted for Trump.

By then Heller had already crossed Trump when he announced his opposition to a GOP measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In an attempt to fortify the party’s resolve to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law, Trump then invited GOP senators to the White House for lunch. With Heller seated next to him, Trump said the Nevada Republican was “the one we’ve been worried about. You weren’t there. But you’re going to be.”

To punctuate his point, Trump added, “Look he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?”


If he wants to know why Nevadans rejected him, perhaps he ought to question whether they liked watching their Senator behave like a beaten dog on national TV? It's not usually the kind of thing people look for in a leader.

Trump is very good at doing this to friends and foes alike. His public demeaning of their character conveys that kind of weakness even when they're not being weak. It's a tough challenge for anyone. But the ones who come crawling back and beg for more after they've been insulted that way are the ones who show their true colors.