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The Great MAGA-Adjacent Hope?

David McCormick
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
December 30, 2021

On paper, David McCormick, who is expected to enter the Republican primary for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, is a unicorn of a political candidate: Pittsburgh native, West Point and Princeton graduate, McKinsey alum, Army Ranger, Gulf War combat veteran, successful Pennsylvania businessman, and a senior official in the second Bush administration in both the Commerce and the Treasury Departments, who successfully represented the U.S. in several G7 meetings. A swooning Washington Times article from 2008 should tell you all you need to know about McCormick’s reputation in Republican circles as a “rising star” and dealmaker, who was simultaneously affable and able to impress suffer-no-fools hegemons, like Hank Paulson, who is quoted in the article as saying “he has a real strong presence.” Less than a decade later, he was named C.E.O. of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio’s titanic, principles-laden, transparency-fetishizing hedge-fund-and-then-some.