Why do people who lose major elections, sometimes badly, still think they are major political players? We have seen this with two Democrats who are becoming gadflies in their party. Look no further than Stacey Abrams and Beto O’Rourke. Abrams lost two races for Georgia governor and O’Rourke lost at three levels: U.S. Senate, presidential, and for governor of Texas. Now we have Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake who continues to have outsized national political ambitions after she lost her race.
Kari Lake Says Stop the Steal Too
Lake has claimed that her 2022 election was rife with voter fraud and disenfranchisement in Maricopa County. She lost the race to Democrat Katie Hobbs. Lake then challenged the results in court, which is her right, but she has continued to lose her legal battles. The last ruling against her happened in an Arizona appeals court. Lake wanted the court to allow the election to be held again. This legal brouhaha started on election day when there were printing problems with ballots in Maricopa which is where greater Phoenix is located. Lake has claimed the printers’ malfunctioning was a deliberate tactic to suppress the votes and that the ballots were unreadable.
Appeals Court Says Election Was Proper
The court did not agree, ostensibly saying that Lake had little evidence that the maladies affected the vote in a manner that would have changed election results. The appeals court wrote in their final ruling that “the evidence supports the conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies setting aside the election results.”
Lake of course is undeterred and wants to take the case to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Just Give It Up
She is clearly overplaying a bad hand and is wasting the time and resources of the courts. This election denying is something that Lake is familiar with having sided with former President Donald Trump that the 2020 election was stolen.
Where Did this Ego Come From?
Lake has an outsized opinion of herself mostly due to her ability to stoke big rallies that revved up the MAGA faithful during her campaign. But she had a small and inexperienced campaign staff, didn’t believe in running much television advertising, and her get-out-the-vote efforts failed on election day.
That’s why she lost.
Her Fans Think She Should Never Give Up
Still, Lake has her loyalists who think she has some type of future in the party as perhaps even Donald Trump’s running mate. This reminds you of what Stacy Abrams wanted from Joe Biden – a chance at running for vice president.
The Associated Press tracked down a Lake supporter who had gushing praise for the former television news anchor.
“Kari Lake is the total package. She’s articulate. She’s confident. She’s beautiful, but not in a threatening way,” said Linda Greulich, a retired 70-year-old from Phoenix. “And I think if she wants to stay in politics, I see her going all the way to the top.”
They Are Just Not That Into You
People like Abrams, O’Rourke, and now Lake make a fateful error about electoral politics. An election loss means the general public rejected you.
You can raise a ton of money, hold crowded rallies, and get national attention, but ultimately elections are about likability.
Kari Lake thinks that by channeling Donald Trump and claiming to fight for the America First movement means she should win an election automatically.
She had no prior government experience or prominent leadership background.
Trust me, like Kari Lake, I have been a broadcast news journalist, and nothing in that job prepared me to run large organizations. Especially not a sprawling and fast-growing state like Arizona.
Now She’s a Victim
Where does Lake go now? Give speeches of course and trot out her election grievances like “you know who.” Lake will address the rightwing conference CPAC in the beginning of March. She will hear cheers and adulation and then mistake this for overwhelming popularity and broad-based appeal.
It’s time for Kari Lake to go away.
She has every right to run again if she desires, but she risks looking desperate for attention and hogging the limelight like O’Rourke and Abrams.
After multiple losses, it’s time for these quixotic politicians to check their egos at the door and fade away. Kari Lake just can’t take a hint that it’s time to turn out the lights.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.