South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address was on message if you subscribe to the GOP party establishment’s talking points, which clearly Haley does. She went out of her way to make sure that the whole world knew she was taking shots at Donald TrumpDonald TrumpEPA removes climate change page from website Trump claims millions in savings on Air Force One Presidents with the worst first 100 days MORE’s candidacy regarding immigration which surprised many Republican voters.
Pat Buchanan recently made the point that Republican governors were among the big losers in 2015 because none of them – Bush, Christie, Kasich, Jindal and Walker -- have gotten traction in the presidential primary campaign.
Abbott would immediately shore up Trump’s right flank and shut down the criticism that he is really a Democrat. He is the one governor of national stature who has diligently been grinding it out on all of those issues important to conservatives – immigration, taxes, gun rights, life and family, and rolling back an ever aggressive federal government.
Abbott helps Trump reel in the Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump in campaign mode at NRA convention Trump’s hands are tied on 9th Circuit Schumer: Trump's handling of North Korea 'all wrong' MORE (R-Texas) and Ben Carson vote and becomes a wedge to isolate the elites from party regulars. Abbott, while conservative, is a traditional candidate being a former attorney general and a governor. He has played in the GOP sandbox, done the rubber-chicken circuit, made the fundraising calls, etc.
But he is the best of all worlds for Trump because he is not an insider. Even Ronald Reagan, at the end of the day, took George Bush, much to the bewilderment of many in the conservative community who wanted Jack Kemp, which in reality meant the Reagan revolution was half-dead before it started.
Perhaps as importantly, Abbott provides Trump needed expertise on the front line of his signature issue – immigration. He puts it on steroids and with legitimacy unlike any other elected official in the country. He becomes Trump’s combat general – Lucien Truscott to George Patton – boots on the ground experience fighting the fight against the political elites of both parties who control the various levers of power on immigration and border security.
And don’t underestimate Abbott’s ability to leverage Texas’ economic story. Texas is the second largest state with 25 million people and a $1.7 trillion economy. California is a $2.1 trillion economy yet Texas is the country’s largest exporter. Texas consistently scores at the top on a range of economic indicators including being ranked number one for economic performance by the ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index (Rich States, Poor States, 2015 Edition, October 2015).
Abbott’s personal story is compelling political theater as well.
The governor has overcome a freak accident, when a tree limb fell on him while running. Not one to wallow in self-pity and “why me,” he faces life and politics with a tenacity and seriousness of a man on a mission yet is grounded in perspective and thoughtful in approach.
His wife, Cecilia, is a second generation Mexican American from San Antonio and the first “Latina” First Lady of Texas. Cecilia holds three degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Houston – a B.A. in psychology and a Masters’ in Education and Theology. She is a former teacher and principal of Catholic schools and sits on numerous boards.
Trump – Abbott, that’s a ticket to make America great again and put the fear of God in America’s enemies, foreign and domestic!
Nagy lives in New Hampshire and has been involved in conservative political issues for over 25 years. Northeast campaign director for Pat Buchanan for President 1992; Northeast regional director for the National Christian Coalition; founder and chairman of Americans for Secure Borders, as well as campaign management for national and statewide conservative candidates.