Despite Madison Cawthorn's Defeat, He Has a Future in Politics, if He Wants It

AP Photo/Chris Seward

Personally, I liked Madison Cawthorn, and if I lived in his district of North Carolina, I probably would have voted for him. Not that it would have made a difference. It was clear that the winds of politics, and the Republican Party were not in his favor.

From the News Observer:

A deluge of scandals cost Rep. Madison Cawthorn his seat Tuesday, as state Sen. Chuck Edwards narrowly defeated the first-term incumbent for the Republican nomination in the Western North Carolina district that sent him to Congress two years ago. Cawthorn left his campaign headquarters in Hendersonville just before 10 p.m. and called Edwards to concede the race soon afterward, Cawthorn campaign spokesperson Luke Ball told reporters.

[…]

Cawthorn, the youngest member of the 117th Congress, had already earned national attention in his first term for his support of former President Donald Trump, his far-right beliefs and his controversial comments and behavior. But beginning in March, a series of scandals, which he called a drip campaign from his Republican colleagues, plagued the congressman. It began when he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “a thug” and the Ukrainian government “evil.” It escalated when he went on a podcast and said his congressional colleagues participated in orgies and did key bumps of cocaine. From there he was charged with driving with a revoked license, was caught at an airport for the second time with a gun, accused of insider trading, while photos of him draped in lingerie on a cruise ship and a video of him naked in bed with another person leaked.

The Leftist fringe is dancing on his grave, as only they can. They see this as a denouncement of both Cawthorn and Trump. They could not be more wrong.

In his comments Tuesday, Cawthorn addressed some of the leaked photos and videos and said they were part of a “coordinated strike” against his reelection bid. He also thanked former President Donald Trump for staying supportive of him despite the series of unflattering headlines in recent weeks.

Trump recognizes potential and appreciates loyalty, so his support of Cawthorn is no doubt based on these reasons. Despite the legacy media’s obsession with painting any loss of a Trump-endorsed candidate as a reflection on Trump’s 2024 chances, that’s a dog that just won’t hunt.

Cawthorn is fresh, honest, sincere, and directed. Sometimes those are not traits that do you well in life, let alone in politics. The encounter I had with him at CPAC 2021 established that. I’ve been a Christian a long time, and been around my share of charlatans, and he did not exhibit that energy at all.

Those traits also probably helped Cawthorn win his first term in Congress. If Cawthorn retains these traits, and hones his already strong and effective communication style, then he has the ability to make a comeback.

Cawthorn is sadly naïve, as some of his scandals and missteps clearly indicated. Being young and untested took its toll, both on his marriage and on this phase of his electoral career. The RNC just took advantage of his vulnerabilities on this front. For once, the phrase “Republicans pounce,” can be appropriately applied.

I was happy to see that it was the voters that decided his fate, rather than some agenda-driven group or judicial fiat. This is a clear and clean break that can allow Cawthorn to return without baggage, if that is what he chooses.

I suspect that he will.

Whatever the case, Cawthorn can now speak freely, and with his strong ability to communicate, it could be the GOP’s reckoning. As Cawthorn alleged before he conceded the race, the Republican Party was complicit in his takedown, as much as any of the Left-wing groups who targeted him. Maybe even more so.

In this not-so-flattering write up of Cawthorn in Jezebel, the writer points out a grain of truth:

Cawthorn’s defeat ultimately feels like a warning shot to fellow House Republicans: Run your mouth about the coke and orgies at your own peril, people.

Sunlight just might be the best disinfectant: for the GOP and for Cawthorn’s road to a new political future.