When you’ve hit rock bottom, the only direction to go is up. But when you start from rock bottom, moving up can be a bit more challenging. That’s what former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford learned quickly yesterday when his primary campaign against Donald Trump launched at a press conference in which a single reporter and zero supporters showed up.
What made the embarrassing exercise in futility even worse is that his team of two had set up a podium near Independence Hall in Philadelphia. When the campaign made the decision to launch there, it probably sounded like a great idea. But as Sanford himself noted, nobody knows him in Philadelphia. In fact, most who know him outside of South Carolina probably remember him as the guy who went down to Argentina for a week for activities that don’t need to be repeated.
Sanford’s chances of making a dent in President Trump’s nomination are somewhere around zero, barring a meteor striking Washington DC. Sadly, his message is one the GOP needs to hear – stop spending like Democrats. But there are better ways to deliver that message than trying to primary a sitting President with 95% approval rate within his party.
The attendee, a local reporter, covered the “event” nonetheless:
Mark Sanford kicked off his presidential campaign against Donald Trump in Philly. One person showed up.
The bell in the Independence Hall tower rang at 9 a.m., and Mark Sanford took a deep breath. He grabbed a giant check for “one trillion dollars,” stood next to a tiny wooden lectern, and asked me if I was ready for him to kick off a news conference announcing his bid to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary.
It didn’t really feel like a news conference. I was the only reporter there.
And when it began, the only others around besides his two aides were a family 30 yards away with a selfie stick and a group of students from Paris who wanted to know why he had such a big check. (Answer: It represented the burden of the national debt.)
This should be a wake-up call to any Republican considering a presidential challenge. Don’t. President Trump is far too popular within the GOP to realistically challenge. Stop watching CNN or ABC News. It’s embarrassing.
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