President Trump told reporters during a media availability at Camp David recently that he will be “very much involved” in the campaign for the 2018 midterm elections. His main focus will be to help and protect “incumbents and whoever I have to protect.”
“We need more Republicans so we can really get the rest of the ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda passed, and so I will actually be working for incumbents and anybody else that has my kind of thinking,” Trump said while standing with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Asked if he envisions himself supporting any challengers to establishment incumbents, Trump answered that he does not “see that happening. I think they’ve [meaning: Tea Party/nationalist/populist challengers] sort of scattered.”
“We had somebody that lost us the state of Alabama, and I think as far as I’m concerned, that was a shame that was lost,” he continued. “That should have never been lost. With it all being said, we have the right policy, we have the right everything — you still need a good candidate. If you don’t have the good candidate, you’re just not going to win.”
In other words, Trump is not even contemplating supporting Steve Bannon’s war on the Republican establishment. The president wants to play it safe. Every Republican senator is one potential ally he desperately needs, even if that senator is with him only half of the time.
Politically it’s smart — and yet another sign that Trump is quickly developing into a more or less generic Republican president with regards to the policies he pursues. It also means that his e has officially ended.
He has learned what many other outsiders who come to Washington learn really fast: you can’t be successful and fight The Swamp at the same time. It just doesn’t happen. The best you can hope for is that you replace the establishment’s leadership one by one.
So yes, Trump’s war on The Swamp has ended, but the end of this war may very well enable him to actually get stuff done. As president, that’s his number one priority — and it should be.