Opinion: Trump didn't get what he wanted this week

Well, the people have spoken. Sort of.

Several major elections this week, and the big story was Georgia. The race Donald Trump certainly seemed to care about most was a Republican primary there involving his enemy Gov. Brian Kemp.

Trump, as the world knows, hates hates hates Kemp for insisting on reporting the accurate results of Georgia's voting in the 2020 presidential race. Trump recruited former Sen. David Perdue to run against his enemy, and Kemp demolished Perdue by more than 3-1.

Same story with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state, who Trump told to "find 11,780 votes" after the presidential election and give him the win. Didn't happen! Yet this week, Raffensperger did so well with Georgia Republican voters that he's not even going to face a primary runoff.

If you've got an optimistic nature, here's a spin you can put on the whole story: Tuesday's results showed regular Republicans aren't all still steaming about how the 2020 presidential election was stolen from their man. And they're not all going to the polls to get revenge.

They're ready to - dare I say it? - move on. No better example than Mike Pence. "I was for Brian Kemp before it was cool," the former vice president told a crowd near Atlanta.

Yes, he really said that. It will be remembered as yet another sign of the wrecked relationship between Trump and his former No. 2. It was also perhaps the only moment in U.S. history when Mike Pence was linked with the word "cool."

OK, that's enough voter happiness. The newly reaffirmed Gov. Kemp announced Tuesday that he and his family were "heartbroken" by the "incomprehensible" school shooting in Texas.

Now, Kemp recently signed a bill that will allow Georgians to carry handguns in public pretty much whenever they feel like it - no license or background check required. You'd think that he'd consider a possible link between the wide, wide availability of firearms in this country and the tragic line of mass shooting deaths.

If we want to pick a theme for Tuesday's elections, it might be that Donald Trump's influence isn't nearly as strong as he thinks it is.

Getting over it is something Trump can't abide. Consider the primary in Alabama for a Republican Senate candidate. Perhaps you remember that Trump began by backing Rep. Mo Brooks, then changed his mind and unendorsed him? Cynics believed Trump had just decided Brooks was a loser, but it's also possible the congressman had offended our former president by urging voters to "look forward."

That's the wrong direction to mention when you're hanging out with the Trump camp.

The outcome of all this drama was that Brooks got less than one-third of the vote, behind Katie Britt, the former chief of staff of retiring Sen. Richard Shelby. Since Britt failed to get 50%, there will be a runoff. Winner will face Democratic nominee Will Boyd this fall.

Trump's biggest election night triumph may have been Herschel Walker, the former football player he backed for a Georgia Senate nomination. Now he'll be running against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who will probably take note of a few items on Walker's resume that Trump overlooked. Including allegations of domestic violence and the day on the campaign trail when Walker expressed doubt about the theory of evolution. (If it were true, Walker mused, "Why are there still apes? Think about it.")

On the plus side, there was Walker's eagerness to spend $200,000 entertaining people at Mar-a-Lago.

All told, reporters found that seven of the Republicans who Trump endorsed this year spent a total of more than $400,000 in campaign money at the resort.

Maybe he'll use some of it for tips at the NRA's three-day convention in Houston.

The New York Times