Sununu’s Kamikaze Run for President
Gov. Chris Sununu is an MSNBC-CNN Republican.
You could call him a RINO, but that’s become an overused pejorative, like, say, “racist.”
The fact is, every Monday, when you read that Sununu said something on one of the network chat shows the previous day, it turns out he was never on Fox, at least not since Chris Wallace went into the Witness Protection Program known as CNN.
Sununu practically lives now on state-run media. Last weekend he materialized on ABC “News.”
There’s only one reason Republicans get invited on these dreadful Democrat shows – to put the knock on other Republicans, especially Donald J. Trump.
And so, as night follows day, now Sununu wants to run for president as an MSNBC-CNN Republican. Seriously, is Chris Sununu telling us he really believes he could be elected president? Who knew?
That’s a variation, of course, on an old campaign ad used against his brother, then-Sen. John Sununu, by Jeanne Shaheen. I forget what Sununu knew, but the punch line was “Sununu.”
When I first heard that this younger Sununu had succumbed to Potomac fever, I thought it was an early April Fools’ Day gag. But apparently he’s been making calls, soliciting contributions from his contributors, setting up a super PAC to raise unlimited funds, etc.
He’s being “urged” to run, I guess, at least once a day when he looks in the mirror when he’s shaving in the morning.
Sununu’s been okay as governor, at least if you compare him to Charlie Baker. In my non-resident opinion, his major accomplishment in six years as governor has been convincing Market Basket to move the price sticker on its deli bag, so that you don’t have to tear the zip lock to get at the cheese or the liverwurst.
That landmark victory came in 2018. Since then… not so much. He’s not as disappointing as Charlie Baker, but again, that’s a pretty low bar.
Sununu is still only 48, which means he was a teenager when his father, John Sununu Sr., was the chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush. So he spent a lot of time inside the Beltway at an early age.
Last year he went on some obscure podcast last year run by old Bush types, where he admitted he’s always thought about “going back to D.C.”
Who knew? Sununu.
It seems like last year would have been the perfect time to realize his dream, by taking out Maggie Hasson, the lackluster incumbent Democrat senator. Instead he played Hamlet until the last moment, freezing the GOP primary field before he decided to run for a fourth two-year term.
It’s safe to say Chris likes the limelight, and he also seems to like being the Last Republican Standing in the formerly Live Free or Die state. When the GOP legislature sent him a redistricted Congressional map that would have likely produced a Republican winner in the First CD, he vetoed it, saying New Hampshire doesn’t do gerrymanders.
More likely he didn’t want a conservative Republican in Congress who would make him look more “moderate,” that is to say, squishy. He likes to save the squishiness for those fabulous Sunday mornings in the network green rooms.
Yet the governor was more than happy to approve tinkering with the districts for the Executive Council, which he needs to control in order to dish out all manner of government goodies. He kept his 4-1 GOP majority.
You might wonder, why would Sununu undertake a kamikaze run for president that he can’t possibly win? Would he really give up the governorship?
The good news for Sununu is, the primary filing deadline in New Hampshire isn’t until June. They have the last primary in the country, a week after Massachusetts.
So after he inevitably gets stomped by Trump and DeSantis in February 2024, he has four months to lick his wounds before getting back into the real fight.
One theory of Sununu’s “candidacy” is that he’s a stalking horse, a straw, for Ron DeSantis. The DeSantis game plan, if there is one, is to get a big field of candidates into the early states where Trump has done well in past primaries, like New Hampshire.
If you split the GOP vote early on, Trump might look vulnerable, and maybe in the later primaries DeSantis can catch him.
Sununu’s reward if that happens? Perhaps a slot in DeSantis’ cabinet, i.e., “going back to D.C.”
Of course Sununu right now seems serious. That’s what everyone who knows him and has talked to him says. But that’s to be expected. There’s an old saying in politics: the best straw is someone who doesn’t know he’s a straw.
The other thing is, he’s of course looking at the other legends in their own minds who are getting into the fight. Nikki Haley? I mean, Sununu obviously doesn’t like Trump, but the worst he’s ever said about him was that he’s “bleeping crazy.”
Granted, he said it at a Democrat slobber fest in DC. I asked Sununu on my show if there were any other Republicans in that crowd of hundreds of rumpswabs, front-runners and bumkissers, and he named… one.
But Nikki Haley actually stabbed Trump in the back, repeatedly, and she wasn’t kidding.
Larry Hogan? He looks like the guy you saw bowling last night, candlepins, and he rolled a gutter ball.
But hey, anything can happen. At least that’s what all of them tell themselves. Maybe, but I don’t see it. But if it does, I’ll be glad to admit I was wrong. I’ll even say, I didn’t realize Chris Sununu was presidential timber, but I’ll tell you who knew.