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What Happens When a Globalist Cuck Tries to Go Full MAGA?

David McCormick is ready to find out.
January 27, 2022
What Happens When a Globalist Cuck Tries to Go Full MAGA?
Dave McCormick, Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Pennsylvania on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

What does it mean to be MAGA?

Is there a list of policies that must be adhered to? Does it require having a truculent tone, a way of being in the world, that can only be detected by fellow believers? Maybe it’s just a mandate to own libs, day and night? Or perhaps MAGA is an exercise in soulcraft, where all sins can be forgiven and your soul saved by grace through faith in Trump, the man, alone?

In Pennsylvania, David McCormick—who is the husband of Trump official Dina Powell and was the CEO, until this month, of the world’s largest hedge fund—intends to find out. He has decided to run for Senate, starting with a race against Dr. Oz for the Republican nomination.

On paper, McCormick appears to be the anti-MAGA. During the Bush administration he was the “Bailout Czar’s” boss—this during the financial crisis that populist high priests such as Steve Bannon identify as the origin story of the MAGA movement.

After that, he worked side by side with China apologist Ray Dalio leading a company that serves the world’s most “sophisticated (((global investors))).”

In 2013, McCormick joined hands with 131 of the GOP’s biggest RINO squishes, such as Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, and Ana Navarro, to call for legalized gay marriage.

He’s been a trustee of the Aspen Institute and chairman of the prestigious Atlantic Council International Advisory Board alongside the Madeleine Albrights of the world.

And his campaign kickoff was a salon crawl of exclusive members-only clubs in New York that was attended by such Never Trumpers as Dan Senor, the candidate’s fellow Jeb Bush donors, and assorted other Masters of the Universe.

This is MAGA?

In McCormick’s life story, his super friends are a Who’s Who of the collaborators who perpetrated an “American carnage” that the forgotten men and women rebelled against by putting Donald J. Trump in the White House. And yet. . . . last month, Breitbart ran an (unironic?) splash headline declaring: “CEO of world’s largest hedge fund plans to go full MAGA.”

I found this fascinating. Full MAGA! What could the Full MAGA possibly entail? (Besides hiring various hangers-on of the former president who are in need of that sweet, sweet Wall Street consulting cash they aren’t otherwise being retained for, what with their complicity in the former president’s recent coup attempt.)

So I began a brief dive down the YouTube rabbit hole to find out. After not all that much digging, I found that McCormick had agreed to an interview at Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead” virtual summit three weeks after the siege of the Capitol. The description of this event seemed somewhat globalist cuckesque to me, so I was anxious to hear what it sounded like when Mr. McCormick spoke truth to power on behalf of We the People.

Wearing the classic “I’m not a real CEO—I’m a cool CEO” kit (blue blazer, dress shirt with massive collar but no tie, fresh hair dye), and framed by a modern art piece, McCormick was confronted with a test of his MAGA bona fides.

Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker got straight to the point: “You’re a Republican, you served in government, you even considered taking a job in the Trump administration. I’d like to know: How does the country move forward from what happened at the Capitol Building on January 6th?”

McCormick replied:

You have to start with the recognition that what we saw at the Capitol was just horrific and will be a dark chapter in American history and something that hopefully will wake us all up to the need for being able to bring our disagreements together and find unity and agreement. It just puts a highlight on the responsibility of leaders to be able to create a dialogue where people are understood. . . . I hope it’ll be one of those things which brings not just Republicans but Republicans and Democrats back to the table.


On the one hand, it’s hard to argue with any of that—and it’s a welcome relief from what certain other Republican candidates have been saying on the campaign trail. In fact, it sounds like something my former boss Jon Huntsman might have said on a No Labels panel. Leaders have responsibilities. Paeans to unity. The insurrection was a dark chapter.

Yet on the other hand it sure doesn’t seem to be on message for the Breitbart crowd. Nothing about Antifa false flags, or “late night dumps,” or great patriots.

It doesn’t feel MAGA. But maybe McCormick was just warming up?

Next Schatzker said, “You’re a Republican, at least you have been”—leaving open the door that McCormick might have left the party over Jan. 6th. “How would you like to see the party move forward?”

McCormick replied that the party should “come together and listen” and acknowledged that there’s a reservoir of frustration out there among voters, suggesting that the GOP “take that energy and channel it in a way that’ll be productive.”

This Davos-style pablum seems to strongly imply that . . . Donald Trump had not been channeling the anger in a way that was productive? So Schatzker follows up by asking McCormick to elaborate: “Does that in your mind mean jettisoning Trumpism or embracing it?”

This is a big ol’ matzah ball, right over the middle of the plate for someone looking to go Full MAGA.

But McCormick hems and haws, not providing an answer that satisfies the binary question.

Well, um, I’d say that it’s extremely important to recognize that President Trump tapped into that level of frustration and anxiety, you cannot wave your hands and that goes away, that’s very meaningful and those frustrations and anxieties remain unaddressed. So embracing that, and the feeling that that sector of our country needs to be well understood and brought into the fold, is a thing I think we have to embrace going forward.

I think what we have to not embrace is the divisiveness that’s characterized the last four years and the polarization, and I think the president has some responsibility, a lot of responsibility for that, and I think that this last dark chapter at the Capitol . . . history will look very unfavorably on that and all the people that were involved in that.

There’s so much good shit here.

1. McCormick describes the MAGA base as “that sector,” as if he is analyzing the prospects of an ETF category in his portfolio.

2. He states explicitly that Trump didn’t address this sector’s legitimate concerns during his four years in office.

3. Then he says that Trump has “a lot of responsibility” for the divisiveness in the country and that history will look unfavorably on him and everyone else involved in the insurrection.

This could be a Mitt Romney interview! Are we sure this isn’t Pierre Delecto in one of those Mission: Impossible masks?

So how about McCormick’s willingness to fight the left?

He is next asked about Joe Biden and his administration’s early policy response to the COVID-19 crisis:

I really appreciated President Biden’s tone in terms of his responsibility to serve the whole country and bring together that common purpose. . . . I think he’s picked a number of very capable people for key positions which is encouraging. . . . I hope that the tone that President Biden has used around bipartisanship will really play out. . . .

You’ve got in what President Biden is proposing and the current posture of the Fed you have an enormous amount of policy response already done and policy response that’s being contemplated, and that’ll have very, very significant impacts . . . in addressing the challenge, which is that the pandemic and the economic slowdown has really hurt the economy at large. But it’s particularly been damaging for those people who are most vulnerable, for minorities, for women, business owners, for the people in the most challenged economic strata. . . . It’s one of those things where there’s no easy answers and all the responses have second-and third-order consequences. I by and large think we’re moving in the right direction.

McCormick offered nothing like the shot he took at Trump. Instead he said that he appreciates Biden’s tone, is impressed with some of Biden’s top staff, thinks their economic policy response to the pandemic was good, and is hoping for bipartisanship. With answers like that you might think he’s pitching a piece to The Bulwark, not setting himself up to run in the Bongino lane in a Republican primary.

And then came the policy meat.

McCormick offered no critique of Biden, or the left, on any of the core America First issues, like immigration. Though that probably shouldn’t be a surprise seeing as he coauthored a paper for the American Enterprise Institute last year on the need to increase immigration levels citing the importance of “human capital.”

On China, McCormick sounded a lot like Tony Blinken. He gives a bit of tough talk about our rival, but then concludes, “The relationship with China is evolving . . .  much more of a strategic competition than it was in the past . . . there’s bipartisan agreement on that.”

Bipartisan agreement?

The man in this interview doesn’t sound anything like the “taking down the CCP” MAGAs I recently spent a week listening to.

I’m sure if we got to hang out one night and he were given a vial of truth serum I’d agree with McCormick on some things and disagree on others. But on balance he would be in the vein of all the corporate moderate squishes the Republican party put up in the pre-Trump years, with an added dollop of rhetoric about how leaders need to respond to the distressed-asset class of MAGA Americans.

And yet Breitbart and the other performative nationalists on McCormick’s payroll seem ready to shine that turd: The campaign’s high command plans to use their previous experience with Glenn Youngkin as the model to git ’er dun.

Their theory of the case is that with unlimited resources, some shamelessness, a vow to put no other gods before Trump, and a bit of coaching on how to talk to the rubes, they can put shiny MAGA wrapping paper on this globalist, Jeb Bush-supporting, $20,000 fountain pen of a human.

Can it work?

The answer will speak to a theological truth about the movement itself.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.