Trump was looking for a reliable vote against conviction at his impeachment trial, but Gov. Brian Kemp will defy him.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:
Gov. Brian Kemp plans to tap financial executive Kelly Loeffler for a U.S. Senate seat next week as he pushes to expand the Georgia GOP’s appeal to women who have fled the party in recent years.
The appointment would defy President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders who have repeatedly urged the governor to appoint U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a four-term congressman who is one of the president’s staunchest defenders in Washington.
Her appointment would do little to tamp down the internal Republican fighting over the seat. Trump and his allies have repeatedly pressed the governor to tap Collins, and the two were still at odds over Loeffler’s appointment even after Kemp brought her to a secretive meeting with the president last week.
As David Frum noted, Trump’s wish was all about impeachment:
Georgia Gov reportedly to defy Trump on appointment to replace retiring Senator Isakson. Trump wanted a super-reliable impeachment vote; looks like he’ll be getting a somewhat less reliable one.
— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 29, 2019
Kemp wants to appoint someone who he thinks has the best chance of winning a full-term in 2020. Trump is only interested in saving his own skin right now. Rep. Collins is one of Trump’s top defenders in the House. If Collins was appointed to the seat, he would definitely vote against convicting the president at his impeachment trial.
Trump has a majority of Republican voters convinced that he is their “chosen one,” but his lack of coattails have politicians like Kemp putting the interest of the state party ahead of the president.
The president has so little political capital within his own party that he couldn’t get his top choice appointed in Georgia.
The writing is on the wall, and it is increasingly spelling out a one-term presidency for Trump.
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