I do not doubt that Gov. Sununu is very bright. He would make a good president and I could vote for him. I watched him on Fox News this evening. He was very animated and loud and seemed somewhat panicky about Trump. His concern may be genuine, but it is to no avail if he's not willing to enter the fray. It reminds me of the Georgia GOP that could not field a candidate willing to take on Herschel Walker in the senate primary thereby ceding the post to a useless democrat.

The Republicans are killing their presidential chances by bad mothing their best candidate (not Trump) and not presenting viable alternatives with a chance of winning. Sununu or DeSantis might have a chance, but Sununu might fear that a run at this time will fail and cause him to be labeled a loser in future endeavors. DeSantis is formidable enough to cause the left-wing media, democrat politicians and wussy Republicans to go into high gear to smear the man. Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley will never get the votes. Chris Christie would get a lot of votes, but he would lose the South.

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Steve Berman

I do not have a subscription to the The Bulwark, but JVL there notes that Chris Sununu had different things to state earlier this year.

March 5, 2023: "As far as former President Trump, I think he’s going to run—obviously he’s in the race. He’s not going to be the nominee. That’s just not going to happen." (At the time, Trump was at 45 percent in the polls and held a 16-point advantage over his nearest rival.)

April 24, 2023: "There's definitely a shift, but I still don't think [Trump’s] necessarily going to be the nominee." (On April 24, Trump’s lead over his nearest rival was 29 points and growing.)

Quoting JVL:

"That’s a lot of change in 12 weeks—Sununu going from it’s inconceivable Trump could be the nominee all the way to Trump must be stopped.

There are only three explanations for this about face:

1) Sununu is very stupid.

2) Sununu underwent a genuine, wholesale re-evaluation of his analysis because Trump’s support grew from 45 percent to 54 percent.

3) Sununu was lying about what he really thought in March and April when he insisted that Trump would not be the nominee.

Of these, only #3 is plausible. And it’s important. Because what Republicans do not seem to understand is that it is both unwise and dangerous to attempt to defeat Trump with lies."

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Jonathan Last (and I believe you if you agree) have presumed intention and motive for Chris Sununu. That’s pretty presumptuous and the only way to conclude a “noble lie.” It’s much more likely that Sununu was operating from known (to him) facts back in March and April, and new facts surfaced (to him) that changed his analysis. It’s less likely he’s some Machiavelli trying to play kingmaker. Unless you already believe that, which is begging the question.

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I'd say that my knowledge on him is minimal, and that he *seems* reasonable as GOP electeds go.

I think you'd agree that not much has changed in terms of polling (Trump has and continues to be the favorite), so I wonder what else Mr. Sununu would be seeing that would lead to such a change in rhetoric.

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Damn Steve, another beauty of a column. You were even more gracious towards the MA governor than the folks at The Bulwark today. Scary when you and Charlie Sykes are on the same page (not for me but i suspect for some of your readers). I rather like to see great minds gather and share positive vibes.

Here's where i really loved your multiple references to "the smartest guy in the room:" how often can you say that about any politician from either party? All too often when one of them comes on a news program, i change channels quicker than when i see one of those idiot Emu insurance commercials.

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