For days now, political obsessives and the national media have been fixated on the race of the moment: the stalemate in the Pennsylvania Senate Republican primary between Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick. Superficially, it’s exactly the sort of delicious stampede that the media delights in. Both men are handsomely wealthy and professionally credentialled, neither is really from Pennsylvania, and both appear entirely uncomfortable fondling the various culture war hot buttons that modern Republicans must push in elections. There’s also the attendant curiosities, such as the fact that McCormick is married to former Trump administration official and Goldman executive, Dina Powell; the fact that he hired former Trump homies Hope Hicks and Cliff Sims; and that Trump, after McCormick hired his pals and genuflected at Mar-a-Lago, ended up endorsing Oz instead.
D.C. insiders, however, have larger curiosities about this race. McCormick, after all, is advised by Jeff Roe, the long-time Ted Cruz consiglieri, who rose to mega prominence of late for engineering Glenn Youngkin’s PG-13 MAGA win in Virginia. Roe, as I recently reported, appears to be the most coveted advisor for any Republican with presidential aspirations in 2024, such as Cruz or DeSantis, with whom he is also close. But in a curious twist, Roe appears to have sent signals that he might be willing to go over their heads and work with Trump. Ironically, these insiders are telling me that Roe’s success with McCormick—whom, of course, Trump did not endorse—will ultimately determine his value to Trump.