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Opinion | Mo Brooks, the jilted bride

I can’t imagine slinking back to someone who publicly rejected me. Begging them to reconsider their disapproval of me.  

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., looks on in the House Chamber after they reconvened for arguments over the objection of certifying Arizona’s Electoral College votes in November’s election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

There’s something craven about one grown man begging for another grown man’s approval. Where I’m from, several words come to mind.

Weak and punk are the less profane ones.

It’s what kids do in elementary school. Begging for approval signals desperation, insecurity and a lack of pride.

And that’s exactly the message Mo Brooks is sending by begging for Donald Trump’s re-endorsement in the Alabama GOP U.S. Senate run-off.

Two other words come to mind: pushover. Snowflake.

We all know Trump originally had endorsed Mo. Then, as the former president is inclined to do, he rescinded his endorsement after Mo admonished Republicans to forget about the 2020 election and move forward.

Speaking of insecure – that’s Trump to a T. Super sensitive. Easily offended. The most fragile of egos.

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Anybody who’s ever spent any time on an elementary school playground or middle school hallway knows the type. The loud, obnoxious bully hiding a ton of fears beneath his bluster.

I can’t imagine – not in a million years – slinking back to someone who publicly rejected me. Begging them to reconsider their disapproval of me.  

Call me proud. But consider me warned.

Not Mo.

From his Twitter account, posted on June 5th: “MAGA Nation, here is my story. Join me in asking President Trump to #ReEndorseMo so that we can send a message to Mitch McConnell by sending a real America First conservative to the Senate on June 21.”

I’ve known Mo personally for about 20 years. We’ve always been political opposites, but I respected his authenticity. I’ve told folks more than once: What you see with Mo is what you get. You don’t have to guess with him.

Guess those days are over.

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Which is surprising because Mo clawed his way into a run-off with Katie Britt.

Without Trump.

Mo used to be clear about who Trump is. Conservative website Yellowhammer News attributed this quote to him in 2015 when he was endorsing Ted Cruz for the GOP presidential primaries: “America needs a president with both a keen intellect and understanding of the foundational principles that have made America great. Ted Cruz’s record proves he has the intellect, strength of character, and backbone to do what is best for America in the face of stiff political winds that seek to blow our nation off course.”

“Intellect.” “Strength of character.” “Backbone.”

I’m guessing these were swings at Trump. For despite that fact that Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and others were still slugging it out with Cruz and Trump, only one of them was dominating the GOP debate stages and garnering massive media attention.

Even liberals like me – perhaps loath to admit it – had begun to realize that Trump was changing America’s political landscape.  

Bush, Carson and all the others had it figured out by May of 2016. By then, all of them had dropped out. And most endorsed Trump – even Cruz, despite the fact that Trump had disparaged both his father and wife.

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Not surprising in retrospect. Cruz has proven to be more pliable than principled.

But Mo’s brand has always been different. His north Alabama swagger has been that of a brawler. Not afraid to fight or offend.Says what he means. Means what he says.

So, what has changed?

Maybe it’s the realization that he, the presumptive GOP nominee in the minds of many, barely forced a campaign newbie like Britt into a run-off. Maybe it was the stress of watching his decline in the polls.

Perhaps it was seeing Britt raise more money than he, without even factoring in whatever support her mentor Richard Shelby was giving her.

Or maybe Mo hears the clock ticking. This is his last chance to solidify his legacy. Make a move up.

If he loses this one, there’s no coming back.

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Not at 68 years old, with about 40 years of living on the taxpayers’ dime. Not with a congressional record that even some Republicans don’t consider distinguished or enviable.

Not when your claim to fame is helping foment the insurrectionist mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Insecurity breeds desperation. Desperation demolishes pride. And leaves Alabama Republicans with a run-off candidate who ain’t too proud to beg the man who jilted him, leaving himstanding at the political altar.

I wonder if that’s the wedding they want to attend in November.

David Person is a media personality and consultant who has been working in the Huntsville market since 1986 as a talk show host, columnist, and director/producer. David co-hosts the podcast Alabama Politics This Week.

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