So He's Trying To Use Grade School Psychology On Them
Trump’s 2022 kiss of death is working like this: he’s been forcing his inadequate candidates— from Dr. Oz and Herschel Walker to JD Vance and Blake Masters— through primaries as we watch them crash and burn when they try to appeal to voters who are not enamored of Trump. But his unserious game playing has now reached into the Democratic primaries in New York City, where most voters have long viewed him as a dangerous joke. Manhattan voters gave Trump just 12.2% of their vote in 2020 and although Brooklyn voters gave Trump 22%, most of those were far from the Brooklyn parts of NY-10. But Trump belly-flopped into the NY-10 (D+69 partisan lean) and NY-12 (D+68 partisan lean) congressional races, endorsing conservative, hereditary multimillionaire Dan Goldman in D-10 and Judiciary Committee chair Carolyn Maloney in NY-12.
The NY Times’ Liam Stack immediately called them both out as mock endorsements. (The Times also endorsed Goldman, a personal friend of the Sulzberger family.) Stack wrote that Trump made “unwelcome endorsements” last night, “sarcastically offering his support to candidates who once helped lead impeachment efforts against him… Writing on Truth Social, a little-used social media platform he founded in October 2021 after Twitter banned him, Trump lavished praise on Maloney and Goldman… Each candidate played a role in the first of Trump’s two impeachments. Maloney served as acting chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, and Goldman was the inquiry’s chief investigator. Both are now competing to represent newly drawn districts in the city, and neither wasted time in recoiling from the former president’s sarcastic expression of favor. Trump described Maloney, who is running in the new 12th congressional district in Manhattan, as ‘a kind and wonderful person who has always said terrific things about me and will support me no matter what I do. Carolyn has my Complete and Total Endorsement,’ he wrote. ‘She will never let our Conservative Movement down!’ Trump described Goldman, who is running in the new 10th congressional district in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as ‘highly intelligent.’ He also said the former impeachment investigator would assist congressional Republicans in their efforts to defeat ‘the Radical Left Democrats, who he knows are destroying the country.’ Goldman quickly dismissed the endorsement as an act of online trolling. He said the former president was ‘pretending to endorse’ him. ‘True to form, Trump is trying to meddle in an election,’ Goldman wrote on Twitter. ‘This is a pathetic attempt at fooling Democrats who are far smarter than Trump is, and it’s clear that only one candidate in NY-10 is living rent-free in Trump’s head.’ For her part, Maloney described the endorsement as ‘laughable.’”
Reporting for Al Jazeera this morning, Joseph Stepansky, wrote that many social media users quickly dismissed Trump’s endorsements as “trolling.” But Trump isn’t the only one trolling in the other party’s primaries.
As of July 15, individuals and groups “aligned” with the Democratic Party had spent nearly $44m on advertising campaigns in support of far-right candidates in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Maryland, according to Open Secrets, an organisation that tracks election spending.
That included Pennsylvania state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, spending $840,000 on TV ads in support of Republican candidate Doug Mastriano, who was at the US Capitol during a riot by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the presidential election results on January 6, 2021, according to Open Secrets.
Mastriano went on to win in the primary election, beating his more moderate Republican challenger. Shapiro has denied he sought to boost Mastriano’s standing.
Some Democratic operatives have warned the approach risks to backfire, with strategist Howard Wolfson telling the Washington Post it was “very dangerous and potentially very risky to elevate” candidates who have embraced Trump’s unfounded claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
It remains to be seen if registered Democrats in New York will view Trump’s endorsement as backhanded, or if his involvement will have a meaningful effect on New York’s primary day.
People have asked me which candidates Blue America recommends in these two races. In NY-12, Nadler is the better candidate. In NY-10, we have a split endorsement: Yuh-Line Niou and Mondaire Jones, either of whom would be a great Representative for the district and a positive national force. Goldman is the worst often candidates running.