As the austere power-corridors of our nation’s capital rang with the news on Thursday that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was dropping out of the race for U.S. House speaker, the leading 2016 presidential candidate of the Republican Party, Donald Trump—a man little pleased, these days, to see the spotlight of American political theatre shine elsewhere than his golden locks—took to Twitter to let his opinion be known:
Seven minutes later, as is Trumpian wont, came tweet-propagation. Not one to retweet, Trump quoted a tweet on the subject of who should replace Speaker John Boehner, his one about his daughter Ivanka Trump, a real-estate heiress with her own jewelry, fashion, and lifestyle brand:
And then, after eight minutes more, Trump again surfed the news wave du jour, tweeting a punctuated boom take:
On Thursday afternoon, speaking at a rally at the Mystere Theater at Treasure Island on the Las Vegas Strip, Trump announced that, in the intervening hours, people had insinuated that he was responsible for McCarthy’s decision. “They're giving me a lot of credit for that,” he said, “because I said, ‘You really need somebody very, very tough. And very smart. You know smart goes with tough.’”
He continued, “You've got to be smart. We need smart, we need tough, we need the whole package.”
A member of the audience cried out, like you! Trump agreed.
“It's bedlam in Washington right now,” he said, “Bedlam. It's a mess. I've never seen anything like it.”
Trump’s glee over the discombobulation of Republican congressional leaders comes just one month after he signed a loyalty oath to the party, vowing not to run as an independent in the event that he does not become the Republicans’ presidential nominee. Standing upon the pink-veined marble of Trump Tower’s lobby in September, he held up a signed pledge marked by emphatically thick permanent marker. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, had come to Trump's marmoreal turf, which helped seal the deal. (Trump did add, during that day’s press conference, a kind of power-assertion: “I told him I don't know it's appropriate, Reince, for you to be here.”)
And yet, despite that agreement, Trump has massaged the McCarthy news as a barometer pointing the way up—for him.
So much for Republican Party unity.
Just a minute after Trump's last tweet came this response: