Last week I enjoyed a summer road trip of over 3,500 miles, with probably 90% of those being off the interstate. We traveled across eight states, mainly in the Midwest, varying from blue Illinois and Minnesota to purple Michigan and Wisconsin to red Indiana and Kentucky.
As I was departing the Badger State, news broke that Rep. Mike Gallagher will not challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin for her seat, which is disappointing. Gallagher, an intellectual and true star, will continue leading the bipartisan and vital House committee on China, but Republicans need a strong candidate like Gallagher as an option. One person mentioned Paul Ryan or Scott Walker, but I doubt either will leave the private sector to be involved.
With one or two exceptions, rural and urban/suburban Republicans said they were effectively done with Trump’s antics and leaned toward DeSantis. However, at least a few of them said the Floridian has been lackluster so far, and they are hoping that Haley, Pence, Scott, or even a dark horse, like “one of the small state governors” (Doug Burgum, Asa Hutchinson) will emerge.
Ari Kaufman is a correspondent for several U.S. newspapers and magazines from Minnesota and Ohio to Tennessee and Virginia. He taught school and served as a military historian before beginning his journalism career. He is the author of three books and a frequent guest on radio programs, and contributes to Israel National News and here at The Lid.