Take away the upcoming presidential contest between Donald Trump and Joseph Biden and you are left with a boatload of intriguing down-ballot contests all across the nation.
The most interesting, intriguing, maddening and bizarre? It’s likely occurring in Alabama.
Two Republicans are running in a July 14 primary runoff to see who faces Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones in the fall. One of the GOP candidates is former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville; the other is a former U.S. senator and attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Donald Trump has endorsed Tuberville. He detests Sessions, the guy he picked for AG, who he then fired because — as Sessions has noted — the AG “followed the law.”
Sessions finally has begun firing back at Trump’s idiocy, declaring that Alabamans will determine who should represent them, not a president’s “personal feelings” about one of the candidates.
This is weird, man.
Sessions wants his former Senate seat back. He is running as a supporter of Trump’s agenda. Trump’s campaign has declared it doesn’t want Sessions to stand with Trump. POTUS stands with Tuberville, declaring that Sessions “let our country down.” Oh, how did he do that?
By recusing himself from the FBI investigation into whether the Trump campaign collude with Russian operatives who attacked our electoral system in 2016. How could Sessions have led a Justice Department probe into a campaign in which he was an active participant? He couldn’t! Which is why he recused himself and allowed the appointment of Robert Mueller III as the special counsel.
That recusal and Mueller’s appointment enraged Trump. As did the investigation that Mueller conducted. He ended it by saying he didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute Trump, but stated pointedly that his findings did not “exonerate” Trump from wrongdoing.
All of this seems to put Sessions in a tough spot as he campaigns in a state full of voters who still seems to adore the carnival barker/con man/liar/philanderer in chief.