By Alexander Lomax
You’ll have to pardon my extreme cynicism when it comes to Governor Ducey’s recent visit with Florida Senator Rick Scott to the southern border to bring federal attention to (read: get national attention for) the recent uptick in migrants attempting to cross the border.
After all, we were told that what we needed was a big, beautiful wall on the southern border (one which we weren’t supposed to pay a penny for), and that that would be the solution for all of those issues. We never heard the Governor say, “Mr. President, folks who are determined enough to get that far will make it past a wall. It’s nowhere near enough”. It’s almost as if he was more focused on upward mobility than fixing an issue.
But Governor Ducey, who has the unique ability to avoid any difficult decisions or strong stances and in the process please absolutely nobody, won’t let his poor polling numbers get in the way. He clearly was destined for Washington. Call it the ice cream-to-Washington pipeline.
Oddly enough, in a time of extreme divisions in our society acknowledging a problem at the border seems fairly widespread, liberal cable news watchers notwithstanding. Even the President’s Press Secretary recently called it “a big problem”. An unpopular nearly lame-ducked Governor in the opposing party isn’t going to move the needle with that.
However, this may illustrate the unique situation that Ducey may find himself in: can someone be too unpopular for the US Senate yet have a chance at becoming the next President?
As referenced previously, Ducey has managed to tick off both the right and the left here in Arizona, making him likely unelectable (or at least, weak) in both an Arizona statewide primary AND general election. But he doesn’t need to win Arizona to be President, and certainly not to get the Presidential nomination in 2024. The GOP does have a strong bias towards nominating governors as their Presidential candidates (the latest aberration an obvious exception). He’s making himself known on a national level via national issues. I may joke, but I think that Ducey has at least inserted himself into the conversation with 2024.
But in a classic Ducey move, he seems to be overcompensating from behind. It’s noteworthy that Ducey didn’t show up at the border with Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, or Rick DeSantis from Florida, both of which have made more waves and have been more effective at grabbing national attention. This pundit believes that those two are his biggest impediments to the White House (after Trump’s legacy).
Maybe a failed Presidential run may be enough to teach him that he is just not strong leadership material. I for one hope that he quickly learns where his ceiling is. We’re just not that into you, Doug.