President Donald Trump was watching Fox News on his otherwise eventless Monday morning and likely saw the recent clip of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine telling Jake Tapper on CNN that former Vice President Joe Biden should be considered the President-elect.
For this grave indiscretion, (i.e. acknowledging the results of the 2020 election, what has been called the most secure election in American history by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency), DeWine drew criticism from the President, who hopped on Twitter.
"Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio?" the President Tweeted half an hour after the clip aired on Fox. "Will be hotly contested!"
Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio? Will be hotly contested!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This is just your garden variety Trump petulance, but it should nevertheless be frustrating for DeWine, who has bent over backwards to appease the President over the past several months. He has rarely criticized him during statewide press conferences and even peppered the administration with compliments while taking umbrage at the Federal coronavirus response.
But DeWine's conciliatory efforts, up to and including the "anti-lockdown" stance in accord with the Republican party line, has now proven to be insufficient protection. Loyalty to the supreme leader must be unconditional, and the appropriate response to the 2020 election is to follow Trump's lead, to keep screaming victory in all-caps like a lunatic and shouting words like "fraud" and "rigged" with no evidence attached.
Those who follow this path stand to do very well in an Ohio gubernatorial primary against DeWine, who has made enemies in the flaming clown car that passes for the state's general assembly. This summer, a faction of the right wing's dimmest bulbs attempted to impeach DeWine for his coronavirus response. Meantime, they've managed not to overturn HB6, the FirstEnergy nuclear bailout passed as a result of a $60 million racketeering scheme. In Ohio, riling up gerrymandered bases with culture-war nonsense is the main preoccupation of the legislature.
I WON THE ELECTION!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
Cleveland.com noted that Jim Renacci, who unsuccessfully challenged Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2018, has been amassing funds and "laying the groundwork" for a campaign of one kind or another. Scene has also heard that energy on the rightmost fringes has been coalescing around Congressman and Trump lapdog Jim Jordan, who has made headlines for his sycophancy. His name recognition is off the charts in the Trumpsphere and will be a dangerous candidate for whatever office he seeks next.
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.