Tom Brady jokes with Biden: 40% of Americans still don't think we won the Super Bowl

“Really no deeper cut for Trump than Brady saying it,” tweeted Maggie Haberman in response to this jab, aptly. Not only is Brady a Trump buddy and the consummate winner, whom Trump naturally enjoys affiliating himself with, but rumor has it that he was once lined up to be the first son-in-law.

Although a bit of distance seems to have grown between the two in recent years.

Maybe Trump’s aides can convince him that this was more a joke at Biden’s expense than at Trump’s. If not, we’re going to get the mother of all press releases about “disloyalty” sometime later today.

It was “disloyal” of him in the first instance to visit the White House and address Biden as “Mr. President,” right? “Biden and Brady, together at the house Trump used to live in and hoped to never leave, basking in their winner-ness and laughing at Trump. Donald Trump would rather relive Election Night a thousand times than see this day,” wrote lefty Jonathan Chait.

It’s okay, though. Trump will be back in 2025.

Or will he?

In a new poll of Republican primary voters by former Amb. John Bolton’s Super PAC, respondents were asked “Since former President Trump’s popularity has dropped with voters since the 2020 election, would you agree or disagree that a new republican candidate – a fresh face – would be a stronger candidate to defeat Joe Biden in 2024?”

Just over a third (36 percent) of GOP primary voters say Trump would be the stronger candidate, while 52 percent say a “fresh face” would be stronger.

Meh, I don’t trust a poll from Bolton’s group, especially one that primed respondents by noting how Trump’s popularity has dropped. Although, for what it’s worth, they’ve seen a sharp swing towards “fresh face” in the answers to that question since they first asked it several months ago.

Philip Klein contemplates the difficulty looming for 2024 GOP hopefuls. It’s assumed, including by me, that they’ll need to sit on the sidelines and not declare their candidacies until they know Trump isn’t running. To jump in before he does would affront the king and MAGA with its presumptuousness. But is it realistic to expect them to stand aside, says Klein?

Anybody who wants a future within the Republican Party would likely want to avoid having to be in a primary with Trump given that Trump will turn his base against any opponent by mercilessly attacking that person. It’s why Nikki Haley, for instance, has said she would not run were Trump to do so.

At the same time, any non-Trump candidate looking to launch a serious campaign will need many months to fundraise, hire staff, build an organization, and start to introduce themselves to voters in the early states. Nobody else has the luxury of waiting as long as Trump. That means that most likely, all other GOP hopefuls will have to dive into the race without knowing for sure whether Trump will decide to run.

Could Haley or Ron DeSantis or whoever maybe announce their candidacy *conditionally*? I.e., if Trump still hasn’t announced his intentions by early 2023, they could form exploratory committees and say that they’ll compete for the nomination *if* Trump doesn’t run. And if he does, they’ll bow out. That wouldn’t offend MAGA.

…but it would offend some of their own supporters. How do you get excited about a candidate who might drop out at a moment’s notice depending upon whether someone else runs? People run for president because they believe they can do the best job for the country. How could Haley or DeSantis credibly compete while insisting that someone else could do a better job than they could?

They might opt for strategic ambiguity instead, announcing their candidacies and saying they’ll make a decision on whether to stay in if and when Trump announces. But that would risk offending MAGA since it would mean they hadn’t ruled out running against him and trying to defeat him in a primary.

Dilemmas, dilemmas.

Here’s another gag from the GOAT today at the White House. Disloyal.