How Trump could put Trump-hater Matt Dolan in the US Senate

Posted on May 14, 2024

National media this week has been obsessed with JD Vance showing up at President Trump’s hush-money trial and pulling surrogate duty for the gag-ordered President. This is because Vance is rumored to be one of the two finalists to become Trump’s VP nominee– and the other, Marco Rubio, seems unlikely to be getting the gig because a) he’d have to change his residency to a state other than Florida to pull it off and b) if Trump loves anything, it’s twisting the knife in the hearts of his former detractors– and God knows, Marco Rubio was a big one of those back in 2016.

Trump has a long memory… he also has something of a man crush on Vance, having decided to endorse him back in the 2022 GOP Senate primary because Vance “has the look.”

So, Vance is looking very likely to get the VP nod.

Here’s where a major irony may arise, however: if Vance gets the VP nod and Trump wins, Trump foe Gov. Mike DeWine is going to get to choose his replacement. And DeWine is extremely likely to pick uber-moderate-Republican Matt Dolan, who is no fan of Trump and of whom Trump is also no fan. So Trump would be taking a loyal ally out of the US Senate and putting him in an essentially do-nothing job; and then replacing that loyal ally with someone who is more likely to vote like a Susan Collins or a Lisa Murkowski or a Mitt Romney than, well, JD Vance.

That would be a bit of a political butt fumble, no?

Of course, from Vance’s perspective, he probably couldn’t care less. Becoming Trump’s VP nominee positions him extremely well to become the GOP presidential nominee in another four years (that’s assuming Trump wins and then respects the Constitution’s provisions on term limits; or that he doesn’t win and doesn’t decide to run again in 2028).

And from DeWine and Dolan’s perspective, it’s genius. Dolan has tried, and failed, twice now to simply get the GOP Senate nomination nod. Maybe he could actually make it to the Senate without having to deal with all that annoying primary politics nonsense, which he is not that great at– at least given that he’s running in the Buckeye State. For DeWine, he gets a much more valuable ally in the US Senate than what he has now and extends his own political influence.

The only loser is Trump. But will the attraction of Vance’s celebrity-ish status and his having “the look” outweigh smart, strategic thinking? It’s Donald Trump, so there’s a good chance that yes, it will.