'Trump without the stupidity': Columnist warns Josh Hawley is the president's heir apparent
Trump and Hawley -- YouTube screenshot

In a column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Michael Tomasky warned that Sen. Josh Hawley is making a major move to round up Donald Trump's rabid followers as he contemplates the race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

As Tomasky writes, the Stanford and Yale Law School grad shouldn't be underestimated because he's fanatically ambitious and has a deep understanding of what makes Trump's voters tick.

With Hawley aligning himself with Trump's demand the election results be thrown out -- while knowing deep down there is no chance of that happening -- and leading the charge for Trump's desire for $2000 COVID-19 aid checks, the columnist said Hawley is attempting to make a splash during the president's final days.

"This guy is burning, aching, hurting to be president," Tomasky wrote. "In 2016, at age 36, he ran for attorney general of Missouri. He was in that office for a year and a half before he formed an exploratory committee to run for Senate in 2018. His AG stint was short, but he made a name for himself, investigating Google and Facebook, the Catholic Church, opioid manufacturers, and even his own corrupt Republican governor. All worthy targets—but notice that all are quite newsworthy from the perspective of the young comer who fancies himself a Quixote-cum-savior-of-the-right."

What makes Hawley dangerous, he explains, is that he is politically calculating and understands the system in ways Donald Trump never did while at the same time understanding how the president throws red meat to his base.

Noting that Hawley knows that his Jan. 6th Electoral College vote stunt is doomed to fail, Tomasky said it's all a show for the president and his biggest fans.

"Hawley knows what reality is, as do the 140-odd House Republicans who say they're going to vote against certification. But as with all actors throughout history who are motivated by ideology over fact, there is a greater reality, which is that America must be saved from the Godless hordes, and saved by Josh Hawley. No mere facts must be permitted to get in the way of that," he wrote before warning, "Keep an eye on this guy. He's Trump without the stupidity or incompetence or personal obnoxiousness or open racism. He may be the most dangerous Republican in America."

You can read more here (subscription required).