Josh Hawley has become 'the face of the Biden resistance': report
Among many Democrats and Never Trump conservatives, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has become one of the most hated Republicans in the U.S. Senate and is being associated with violent insurrection, extremism and refusing to accept democratic election results. But in Trumpworld and right-wing media, the GOP senator is viewed much more favorably — and journalists Marc Caputo and Burgess Everett, in an article published by Politico on February 4, stress that Hawley has been positioning himself as the face of Trumpist opposition to President Joe Biden's policies.
Before January 6, Hawley announced that he would contest the certification of Biden's Electoral College victory during a joint session of Congress — and in a now-infamous photo taken on January 6 before the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building, Hawley can be seen raising his fist in solidarity with a mob of extremists. A January 9 headline on NBC News' website read, "Sen. Josh Hawley Becomes a Pariah on Capitol Hill." And Joe Scarborough, the former GOP congressman and Never Trump conservative who hosts "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, has repeatedly slammed Hawley as someone who helped paved the way for the violence of January 6.
Hawley, of course, has condemned that violence, arguing that it's unfair to link him with insurrection when all he wanted to do was make sure the 2020 election had an accurate vote count. And as Caputo and Everett's article explains, Democrats and Never Trump conservatives are not Hawley's target audience. Hawley is a Trumpist all the way.
"The face of the Biden resistance is taking shape in the Senate: Josh Hawley," Caputo and Everett explain. "In a prelude to a widely expected 2024 presidential bid, the Missouri Republican is the only senator to oppose every one of President Joe Biden's cabinet nominees — a distinction sealed Tuesday when he voted against confirming new Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Hawley briefly held up the confirmation of another cabinet official, for the Department of Homeland Security."
The Politico reporters add, "Even before Biden became president, Hawley initiated his bid for the Trump wing of the party by becoming the first senator to announce he would vote against the Electoral College results certifying the new president's win, thrilling the outgoing president and his followers."
Senate Democrats had been pushing for quick floor votes on Biden’s national-security nominees in light of the insur… https://t.co/IQsws9rwKF— POLITICO (@POLITICO)1611089380.0
Hawley has denied that he plans to run for president in 2024, but according to Caputo and Everett, "No one familiar with presidential politics or the U.S. Senate is taking the 41-year-old at his word."
Veteran GOP strategist Scott Reed told Politico, "Hawley's always been a young man in a hurry. He ran for attorney general on a plank he would serve all four years and (almost) immediately ran for U.S. Senate once he got in office."
Hawley sounds very Trumpian when he rails against "big tech," "elites" and the mainstream media. And according to Reed, "He's clearly laying groundwork for running for president in 2024. There's no way else to explain this behavior."
GOP consultant David Carney spoke to Politico as well, saying that Hawley is "definitely one of the two dozen guys in the mix for president. Why would anybody know a Missouri senator, basically a freshman who's a first-termer? This is what you need to do to break through the clutter. Now, it's a double-edged sword because if you do too much crazy stuff, you're not credible. So, you have to do non-crazy stuff. You can't become a caricature. You can't be the class clown."
Caputo and Everett note that Hawley has become a very polarizing figure.
"His eagerness to ingratiate himself with Trump supporters led to a now infamous January 6 photo of Hawley, outside the Capitol, pumping his fist in support of a throng of demonstrators who later went on to storm the building, vandalize it and temporarily delay the vote," the reporters observe. "Hawley's role in opposing the Electoral College vote resulted in a Senate ethics complaint, and led Simon & Schuster to cancel his book deal, 'The Tyranny of Big Tech,' last month. And former Missouri Sen. John Danforth — who helped propel Hawley to the seat Danforth held decades ago — withdrew his support of the senator, saying his endorsement was 'the worst mistake I ever made.'"
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