Conservatieve politici in de Verenigde Staten zijn nogal van hun melk door het onophoudelijke gedreun van presidentskandidaat Donald Trump. Voor velen is dit een frisse wind. Anderen staan dan weer afwachtend ten opzichte van een onbekende — “Better the devil you know.” Zo ook in een stuk van Bill Powell in Newsweek.1Bill Powell, The greatest candidate, Newsweek, 14/aug/2015, p. 32.
I’m not a political reporter, and until coming to New York in late July, I have watched this unfold with one eye, from afar, believing Trump to be something of an entertaining sideshow. But then I started talking to the several friends I have who are active in GOP politics. Almost all were aghast as they watched the Trump balloon ascend. Many had spoken of their candidates for this cycle with an optimism I hadn’t heard in a long while. An “embarrassment of riches,” one friend (a Hollywood closet conservative) told me. The field includes experienced, competent governors, current and former, and even a smart, charismatic senator or two. “We’re set up,” my friend said, “to run a ‘future vs. the past’ election.” The opponent they relish running against is Hillary Clinton, who is, in the GOP’s view, an old, lifeless, brutally bad politician.
“But now,” he sighs, “it’s all Trump, all the time. It’s beyond belief.”