Far-right Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel became too ‘creepy’ even for Trump: conservative
Many supporters of former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel are disappointed that former President Donald Trump has endorsed “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance in Ohio’s 2022 GOP U.S. Senate primary, as they view Mandel as a more sincere Trumpista than Vance — who was highly critical of Trump during the 2016 election. But journalist Jim Swift, in an article published by the conservative website The Bulwark on April 15, has an interesting theory about Trump’s decision to endorse Vance over Mandel and other Republicans in that primary. Mandel, Swift argues, became too “creepy” even for Trump.
Mandel and Vance have been jumping through hoops and tearing each other to pieces to show who is the most MAGA. Mandel and his supporters have slammed Vance as pseudo-MAGA, pointing out how critical he was of Trump before he became a Trump sycophant. But ultimately, Trump decided that Vance was the better candidate.
“Mandel clearly hoped for Trump’s endorsement, since he had led from the opening bell — and despite his reluctance to get on the Trump train early, he chose to be the craziest Trumpian son of a bitch in the race,” Swift explains. “But maybe he went too Trump? Mandel was more of a Trump sycophant than anyone — to the point where it became a bit unsettling. Even Trump himself thought Mandel’s still-mysterious disappearance and even-more-mysterious subsequent divorce, combined with his obsession with Trump, was creepy. Mandel has long been a ladder-climbing opportunist, but when even Donald Trump thinks you’re a weirdo, it might be time to rethink your life choices.”
Swift continues, “How far did Mandel go? He got himself kicked out of an RNC fundraiser in Florida, when he went to represent grassroots MAGA against the MAGA swamp. He went to Florida for an ‘Apprentice’-style meeting with Trump, along with other Ohio senatorial candidates. In a debate, he even said he’d do anything — anything? — to get Trump’s support.”
In a report for the Daily Beast back in early February, journalists Asawin Suebsaeng and Jackie Kucinich offered some insights on why Mandel wasn’t winning Trump over despite pushing the MAGA agenda so aggressively. Trump, according to Beast sources, had, “for months, told people close to him that he thinks Mandel is a charisma-free weirdo and dork.”
The fact that Trump has endorsed Vance doesn’t necessarily mean that he will win the primary on May 3. But it’s an endorsement that Vance was glad to get — and one that Mandel’s campaign is furious over.
“Mandel’s campaign has three ‘policy’ pillars: He says he’s pro-God, pro-guns, and pro-Trump,” Swift observes. “It’s pretty tough when you get one leg of the stool kicked out from underneath you by the big orange fella.”
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