The electoral defeat of November 3, 2020 and the storming of the Capitol Building on January 6 remains deep in the bones of many Republicans. After major trauma, wound licking begins. Party leadership meets this week in Orlando, Florida, for its first closed-door meeting after the disaster.
Although it is fairly close to the home of Donald Trump (74) in Palm Beach, the former US president is not there. “I didn’t invite him,” Liz Cheney, 54, the third Republican member and chair of the conference, told reporters of Trump.
She was one of ten Republicans to vote to accuse Trump of the Capitol attack. She had already said in February that Trump would not have a “leader in our party” role in the future.
The next elections are under preparation
That is to say: The party appears in fact to be planning its future without Trump. Because the conference is not only about looking back at defeat, but also about preparing for the upcoming elections, which are scheduled to take place a year and a half later on November 8, 2022.
By then, the party wants to transcend internal disputes, which is only possible without Trump. Because only in this way will it have a chance to replace the land and regain the lost parliamentary seats.
Disagreement at the beginning of the session
Speakers at the retreat include senior Republicans such as Rona McDaniel, 48, chair of the National Committee, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 38, former Trump spokesperson and candidate for Governor of Arkansas, and Ari Fleischer, 60, former press secretary for George W. Bosch (74).
But even without Trump, the convention would not be a lucky star. It all went wrong, as Liz Cheney was unable to agree with the leader of the parliamentary group in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (56), how far the Capitol storm investigation should go. Liz Cheney is calling for an independent bipartisan commission, just as she did on 9/11.
Will Trump intervene again?
Republicans will not be silent anytime soon. Above all because, despite his absence, Trump’s dismissal cannot be closed.
Because Trump appears to be preparing to run for the presidency again. This week, he said, “I take it seriously, more than my grandfather.” And the stakes are 50 per cent that he really means it and that he will compete again in 2024.