Trump, Van Drew, and ‘Normal People Like Us’

Van Drew

If you think things never change in politics, you should think of Jeff Van Drew.

The south Jersey congressman has gone from a Democrat, albeit a conservative one, to a full-blown MAGA-Republican in a bit more than three years.

That interpretation, while true for some time, was reconfirmed Friday when Van Drew said he was asked by Donald Trump to head the 2024 Trump campaign in New Jersey.

This really is a symbolic posting; New Jersey has not been a competitive presidential state for a generation, but that’s not really the point.

Van Drew coupled that news with an announcement that he would also seek reelection to his CD-2 House seat next year.

That’s relevant, because some wanted him to run for the U.S. Senate. Van Drew said in a video posted on social media that he was “humbled” by the suggestion, but he has more to do in Congress.

Fair enough.

At the same time, running for Senate would have meant giving up his House seat, which is relatively safe. And let’s not forget that winning the Senate seat would have been a long shot by any measure.

Van Drew’s relationship with Trump was cemented when the then-president came to Wildwood for a rally in January of 2020 and singled him out. The congressman also had a speaking appearance at that year’s Republican convention.

Even with that backdrop, it was a bit jarring to listen to Van Drew talking about his reelection plans on social media.

He spoke darkly of “criminals” taking over and added the following observation:

“Normal people – like us – are treated as second class citizens.”

This is Trump-like rhetoric at its “best.” So much of the MAGA-movement focuses on an “us versus them” philosophy, or perhaps, it’s the “normal people” against everyone else.

The former president, for his part, praised Van Drew and said that his campaign can win New Jersey – “possibly by a lot.”

That seems a bit dubious.

Trump got about 41 percent of the vote in New Jersey both times he ran.

Not only that, we have seen that candidates who embrace Trump can’t even win Republican primaries in New Jersey.

Hearing Van Drew’s twin announcements brought me back to January 2019 when I was in Washington for the swearing in of that year’s new Congress.

Van Drew was in his new office, holding his grandson, and talking about how there was a nice mixture of Democrats being sworn in. At the time, he was one of four new Dems in Congress from New Jersey.

As stated, things have changed a lot since then.

 

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6 responses to “Trump, Van Drew, and ‘Normal People Like Us’”

  1. What a change since he professed his undying loyality to Trump- he has become someone who was elected as an independent Democrat and now is a member of the MAGNA cult- he is not normal as normal people don’t commit 91 felonies – Jeff seems to forget how many people and businesses went bankrupt as Trump ripped off AC and this is part of his district !! Guess he has gone to the dark side!

  2. “Normal people like us” surely includes, in Van Drew’s mind, Trump—a lifelong grifter, narcissist, misogynist, and one who looks to Hitler as a guide to attaining political power. If that’s “normal,” I want someone in power who’s pro-human who respects all life and won’t suspend our constitution to keep himself out of prison and imprison his “enemies” (anyone not bowing to his will).

  3. New Jersey and New York will never wake up. They will always be poor run democratic states. It’s just so sad that people no matter what party you’re affiliated with because this is not about party. It’s about a country and the American people will never see the forest for the trees. They will never admit to the horrible direction this country is going in.

  4. This really screws Testa. If Testa ran against Van Drew in a primary, he would easily win.
    When are real republicans going to say enough is enough with van drew and his cultism?

  5. Joe Brophy states that Van Drew is part of the MAGNA cult. What is a “MAGNA” cult??? This is yet another Democrat “useful idiot” who can’t spell or understand what he’s talking about. In fact, he says Trump committed 91 “felonies”. When did that happen??? This is further example of Democrat “useful idiots” projecting their own candidates felonies on Trump and attempting to gaslight the public. I don’t remember seeing the trial or the jury conviction of Trump. Brophy is just another member of the Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) cult.

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