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Politics As Stefanik replaces Cheney, Democrats want to keep spotlight on Trump

17:05  15 may  2021
17:05  15 may  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Who is Elise Stefanik, favorite to replace Liz Cheney?

  Who is Elise Stefanik, favorite to replace Liz Cheney? New York Rep. Elise Stefanik has emerged as the likeliest choice to replace House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican. © Provided by Washington Examiner House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, publicly backed Stefanik, and Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler is actively whipping votes to make her the new conference chairwoman. And former President Donald Trump backed Stefanik to replace Cheney on Wednesday. "Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair.

The installation of Rep. Elise Stefanik as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference was intended to put the focus back on combating President Joe Biden’s agenda rather than relitigating former President Donald Trump. But Democrats, and some in the media, are not going to make it easy to move on.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

In the immediate aftermath of Stefanik’s election, many pointed out that the New York Republican has lower ratings from national conservative groups than either Cheney or Rep. Chip Roy, the Texas lawmaker she defeated en route to becoming the third-ranking Republican in the House.

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  How Elise Stefanik – Liz Cheney's likely GOP leadership replacement – went from moderate to MAGA The reason is simple: Stefanik has shown unwavering personal allegiance to Trump over the past 18 months; Cheney has not. Cheney’s op-ed came after Trump blasted out a statement saying, “Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL endorsement for GOP Conference Chair.” The fact that nearly every member of the GOP caucus is reportedly prepared to follow the former president’s lead is perhaps the most dramatic illustration yet of how little policy or ideology matters in today’s Republican Party. What matters is loyalty to Trump. Stefanik isn’t even a particularly long-standing loyalist. A native of Albany, N.Y.

Specifically, Stefanik has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 44% to Cheney’s 78% and Roy’s 95%. Heritage Action scored Stefanik’s voting record at 48% to Roy’s 96%. Stefanik was more supportive of Trump’s 2020 election claims than either Cheney or Roy and received the former president’s endorsement in the leadership race.

Shortly before her removal as conference chairwoman, Trump blasted Cheney as “a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart.” He later added that she was “a bitter, horrible human being” who would soon be a “Paid Contributor on CNN or MSDNC,” the latter a reference to the cable news network MSNBC.

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Trump later said he couldn’t “imagine” House Republicans would elect Roy, who he said “has not done a great job, and will probably be successfully primaried in his own district.” He concluded, “I support Elise, by far, over Chip!”

“This does keep the spotlight on Trump, which he is an expert in doing,” said a Republican strategist. “It will be up to Elise, and the rest of the leadership team, to shine the light where it belongs.”

Stefanik was elected in large part because she is viewed as an effective television communicator who is a team player with good message discipline. These characteristics are viewed as assets as the GOP seeks to wipe out narrow Democratic majorities to win back control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections.

Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump was accepted as an act of conscience by most of the Republican conference when there was a previous attempt to oust her earlier this year, closer to the events of Jan. 6. She began to hemorrhage support, including from fellow members of leadership, as Republicans concluded she was unable to move on from Trump as the midterm elections approached.

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  The 'Handmaiden of Trump': How Elise Stefanik Went From Moderate to MAGA Stefanik is expected to ascend to House GOP conference chair by lashing herself to a cause that undermines the democratic processToday Stefanik is still a politician on the rise, but for very different reasons. As soon as next week, she is widely expected to ascend to the position of House GOP conference chair, which would make her the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress. And she will have gotten there by lashing herself to a cause that undermines the same democratic process she once hoped to strengthen.

But the clear political upside of Stefanik’s embrace of Trump, who has continued to claim the 2020 election was rigged against him or even stolen, has opened up obvious lines of attack for Democrats. It also raises questions about whether internal GOP pushback against what Trump is saying, which could serve to keep Stefanik and company talking about Trump.

“They’ll need to be very savvy in how they deal with this,” said a Republican consultant in Washington, D.C. “The press will try to bait them into talking about Trump as much as Liz Cheney, just from the opposite direction.”

Further complicating the party’s Trump calculus is the fact that he is keeping open the possibility of running again in 2024 in hopes of becoming the first president to serve nonconsecutive terms since Grover Cleveland. He has remained an active commentator on public events large and small, weighing in Friday on the television punditry of Republican operative and longtime George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, issuing statements through his office and political action committee that are reminiscent of his banned Twitter account.

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“Democrats want the 2022 elections to be about Trump,” said the Republican consultant. “We don’t, or at least shouldn’t.”

Democratic leaders hailed Cheney as a martyr sacrificed for Trump. “It's disturbing to see any leader regardless of party being attacked for simply speaking the truth, and as the president said last week, it's hard to understand,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called her removal a “dark moment” for Republicans and said she “had the courage to tell the truth.”

“Congresswoman Liz Cheney is a leader of great courage, patriotism, and integrity. Today, House Republicans declared that those values are unwelcome in the Republican party,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after the GOP conference vote. “For the sake of our democracy, reasonable Republicans across the country must take back their party.”

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The leadership vote came as Republicans were trying to block the Democrats’ sweeping election reform bill, which has been taken up by the Senate, and negotiate with the Biden administration on an infrastructure package.

Trump remains a unifying figure for Democrats in opposition. “He is the glue that holds the coalition together,” said a Democratic strategist, referring to the range of suburbanites to Bernie Sanders supporters who voted for Biden last year.

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Tags: News, Congress, Donald Trump, Elise Stefanik, Liz Cheney, Joe Biden, Republican Party, Campaigns, 2020 Elections, 2022 Elections, Chip Roy

Original Author: W. James Antle III

Original Location: As Stefanik replaces Cheney, Democrats want to keep spotlight on Trump

With Liz Cheney removed as House GOP chair, what's next? .
The first order of business will be to replace Cheney, and it looks like Rep. Elise Stefanik will step into that role.Wednesday's decision by House Republicans to remove the Wyoming congresswoman as chair of the House GOP Conference is only the beginning of a new chapter for a party that hopes to recapture Congress in 2022 after making key gains in November's elections.

usr: 1
This is interesting!