Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch so much wants Donald Trump gone, and is so disenchanted with the hopelessly flailing Ron DeSantis, that he now reportedly wants to see Glenn Youngkin come in and save the Republican Party from itself.
This is the latest from the New York Times, per staff writers Nicholas Nehamas and Maggie Haberman, the Trump whisperer, who tell us that Murdoch “has made clear in private discussions over the last two years that he thinks Mr. Trump, despite his popularity with Fox News viewers, is unhealthy for the Republican Party,” and that DeSantis has fallen out of favor with Murdoch with his sustained bitter personal pushback against Disney.
The solution to what ails the GOP, to Murdoch, according to Nehamas and Haberman: “Mr. Murdoch has privately told people that he would still like to see Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia enter the race, according to a person with knowledge of the remarks.”
It’s a bandwagon of one, but hey, it’s a start for our native son, who by all accounts has been itching at the chance to make what would be an almost comically-late entry into the Republican presidential race.
He’s not registering in the polls right now, in part, you’d have to assume, because the pollsters aren’t including his name in their questions to the people they can get on the phone.
And because he’s not actively raising money, he’d be way behind there, relative to Trump and DeSantis, who are raising and also wasting vast sums; and he’d have to dramatically ramp up infrastructure in Iowa, with the caucuses there a scant six months out, and New Hampshire, where the first-in-the-nation primary isn’t far behind.
But having Rupert Murdoch as the wind behind your sails isn’t a bad thing at all if you’re a Republican.
Youngkin checks some of the important boxes to be able to maybe get some traction with Republican primary voters – he’s anti-“Woke,” though not entirely rude about it, like DeSantis; and he hasn’t come right out and said the 2020 election was stolen, but he’s vague enough on the topic, and on Trump, that you can see him wearing one of those goofy red hats and not looking entirely uncomfortable.
All of that, plus, he’s filthy rich (net worth: a reported $470 million).
In the end, he’s too business Republican to be more than a spoiler in 2024, but that’s probably the best that the Murdochs of the world can hope for at this point.
Murdoch breathed life into Trump in 2015; can he kingmake Youngkin into something in 2023?
No, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try.