Apparently, Richard Painter thinks that there aren’t enough Trump-haters running for US Senate. Painter has announced that he’s formed an exploratory committee to see whether there’s room for him in the race for Al Franken’s former seat. Suffice it to say that he doesn’t think he has much of a shot at winning.
That’s the only conclusion worth drawing after reading that Painter thinks “he wouldn’t necessarily need a lot of money to mount a campaign.” That’s a polite way of saying he doesn’t think he could raise much money, which is probably true. Frankly, Painter seems like he has a higher opinion of himself than others have of him.
Painter said at a State Capitol news conference that although he’s a longtime Republican and served as chief ethics lawyer in George W. Bush’s White House, he’s unsure whether he would run as a Republican, Democrat or independent. “I need to think about whether there’s a place for me” in the GOP, he said. “I’m going to be considering any and all options.” He described himself as “a centrist in many ways — right up the middle.” He said he has supported Democrats.
That sounds lovely but today’s GOP activists prefer principled people that think things through. The last thing they’re attracted to is another John McCain or Lindsey Graham.
It isn’t that I have a personal animus towards Painter. It’s that, prior to this announcement, I’d never heard of him. If he wants to run, have at it. When he fails, I don’t want to hear that ‘there’s no room for moderates in the GOP’. He will have failed because he wasn’t a quality candidate. Painter will have lost because he’s a nobody.