Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed John D. O’Connor.
The subject of criminal charges against presidential candidate, a sitting President or former President, is of recent vintage.
This subject was first seriously discussed during the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s, as President Nixon left the Presidency in disgrace, soon to be pardoned by his successor, former House Speaker Gerald Ford. This pardon likely hurt Ford’s chances in his close election loss to Jimmy Carter in 1976. Following this, potential charges against President Bill Clinton were pursued with a vengeance by Republicans who wished treatment for Clinton similar to that of Nixon. Clinton’s wife Hillary narrowly escaped charges from Independent Counsel Robert Ray.
The 2016 election featured a wild array of charges of criminality levelled against the opposition. In all these cases, the potential for criminal charges had some effect on the electorate.
But with the recent rumored and now actual indictment of former President Donald Trump, this dynamic may change in unpredictable ways. The present consensus is that the indictment will strengthen Trump in the Republican primaries while weakening him in the general election. But with three other investigations being pursued against Trump, will this remain the consensus?
Republicans are all standing in solidarity against the Progressive District Attorney Alvin Bragg. But complex and confounding reactions by the public may change the present public perception considerably. So, while Trump is now riding high on justified reaction by conservatives at this politically motivated prosecution, there may grow in coming months and years a strengthening view that there is simply too much chaos and drama surrounding Trump, much of which is the work of his enemies, but much self-inflicted. If another candidate shows himself to be a safer, less controversial choice and running far ahead of Trump in matchup polling against a Democratic opponent, will conservative voters become more pragmatic and move to a candidate with less baggage?
This is the key question facing all conservative to moderate voters, who wish an improved country and do not love many Progressive policies. So stock up on your popcorn, and get ready for a complicated, twisting and ever-changing ride toward the 2024 election.