Failed GOP Strategists and Notable Spouse Launch PAC to Defeat Trump in 2020

Good news for the president

December 17, 2019

President Donald Trump's reelection efforts in 2020 and beyond received a significant boost Tuesday with the announcement of the Lincoln Project, a new anti-Trump super PAC started by a group of failed Republican strategists and George Conway, a spouse of middling renown.

The brain trust powering the Lincoln Project includes Steve Schmidt, who worked on the late senator John McCain's (R., Ariz.) failed presidential campaign in 2008; John Weaver, former chief strategist for failed presidential candidate John Kasich; Rick Wilson, a "digital assassin" who regularly posts on the popular social networking website Twitter; and Kellyanne Conway's husband. The project was originally named "Rough Riders for America," federal election records show.

The peculiar quartet announced its new endeavor in a New York Times op-ed of prohibitive length. The super PAC will pursue a "common effort" with national Democrats driven by a "shared fidelity to the Constitution," says the op-ed. The goal is to save the soul of America by "defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box."

The Lincoln Project will endeavor to "ensure a victory in the Electoral College" for the Democratic nominee and seek to install "congressional majorities that don't enable or abet Mr. Trump's violations of the Constitution, even if that means Democratic control of the Senate and an expanded Democratic majority in the House."

The PAC's target audience is "disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states." Trump currently commands a 90 percent approval rating among self-identified Republicans.

The op-ed concludes with an extended riff comparing the efforts of anti-Trump Republicans to those of Abraham Lincoln and the Union soldiers who sacrificed their lives to preserve the United States during the Civil War.

We look to Lincoln as our guide and inspiration. He understood the necessity of not just saving the Union, but also of knitting the nation back together spiritually as well as politically. But those wounds can be bound up only once the threat has been defeated. So, too, will our country have to knit itself back together after the scourge of Trumpism has been overcome.

The Lincoln Project's founders may not succeed in their quest to elect a Democrat in 2020, but when it comes to getting themselves booked on cable news to talk about it, success is all but guaranteed.