Tags: steve bannon | alabama senate race | doug jones | donald trump | roy moore

Is Bannon Losing Stature After Alabama?

Is Bannon Losing Stature After Alabama?

Steve Bannon. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 10:04 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Once it became clear Tuesday evening that Democrat Doug Jones had won the critical U.S. Senate race in Alabama, the obvious "follow-up" question in the political community was how did this affect Steve Bannon.

The Breitbart chairman and former Trump White House Counselor was the "wingman" for the controversial Republican nominee in Alabama and former Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Bannon weighed in for Moore during his winning race for nomination against incumbent Luther Strange (who was appointed to the seat fomerly held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions) and stood with him after charges from eight different women that the Republican nominee had behaved improperly toward them when they were teenagers.

According to several accounts, Bannon was pivotal in persuading President Trump to re-state his endorsement of Moore after Republicans from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on down abandoned the Alabamian.

So, after Moore's loss, Newsmax asked political scientists and operatives whether Steve Bannon is still the "player" he was within the conservtive movement and will he play a significant role in other primaries for U.S. Senate seats up for election in 2018?

"Absolutely," former Sen. and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told us, "I love Steve but Moore was a huge mistake."

Former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, however, saw it differently. I asked him whether Bannon's strength within the Republican Party has diminished since the outcome in Alabama.

"Not really," said Steele. "His declared war on the Republican Party and its leadership is still a storyline. But losing the Senate seat in Alabama was a blow and McConnell wanted it to sting — which is why the Majority Leader slapped Bannon in his statement following the Alabama race."

Steele added that "the key to Bannon’s strength inside the GOP comes from his constituency of one: Donald Trump As long as Trump sees a need for Bannon, the GOP should be worried."

Veteran GOP political consultant Ford O'Connell said, "Bannon should get a lot of grief for Alabama. But he is a survivor and he will try to wiggle out of this and shift the blame to McConnell and the establishment for Moore's loss."

Most skeptical of all about Bannon's future influence was presidential historian David Pietrusza.

"Bannon's status within the party was already on the bubble, at best," said Pietrusza, author of five much-praised books on presidential election years, "He helped engineer the Moore primary victory and stayed with him to the end, hoping to emerge as a Senate, as well as a presidential, kingmaker. How much this loss — in a red state — damages his relationships with Trump and with his financial backers remains to be seen. It cannot help. In Hollywood, you're only as good as your last movie. In Washington, D.C., you're only as good as your last election."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Once it became clear Tuesday evening that Democrat Doug Jones had won the critical U.S. Senate race in Alabama, the obvious "follow-up" question in the political community was how did this affect Steve Bannon.
steve bannon, alabama senate race, doug jones, donald trump, roy moore
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2017-04-13
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 10:04 PM
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