Spare Us Lara Trump

Well, that was fast! Donald Trump is not yet the Republican nominee for president, but already we’re witnessing a resurgence of the in-your-face nepotism that brought us last decade’s cringe-worthy reality show: Javanka in the West Wing.

Like so much about Trump 2.0, this round of packing institutions with puppets is looking even dingier and more shameless than the last, starting with the former president endorsing Lara Trump, his daughter-in-law, to be co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

“Lara is an extremely talented communicator and is dedicated to all that MAGA stands for,” gushed Mr. Trump of his son Eric’s wife. “She has told me she wants to accept this challenge and would be GREAT!”

This does indeed sound like a sweet gig for Ms. Trump, who has spent the past few years in search of an appropriate outlet for her talents. In the months after Mr. Trump’s 2020 election loss, she toyed with running for the U.S. Senate in her native state, North Carolina, but that never quite gelled. In 2021, she signed on as a contributor to Fox News, only to have the network cut her loose the next year when her father-in-law officially began his latest White House run. (The network has a policy of not employing anyone so closely linked to a political candidate.) She’s piddled around hosting a conservative podcast. She’s busied herself with pet-themed charities. This past fall, she even made a play for divadom, releasing a cover of Tom Petty’s late ’80s hit “I Won’t Back Down.” The less said about that, the better.

But with her paterfamilias moving to make the Republican Party a wholly controlled fief of MAGA, it only makes sense to have an actual member of the family in the top leadership of the party organization.

One might have assumed Mr. Trump would have been sated by giving the heave-ho to his once-loyal lackey Ronna McDaniel and endorsing Michael Whatley, the head of the North Carolina state party, to be the Republican National Committee’s main chairman. Mr. Whatley has proved his MAGA chops with his energetic embrace of Mr. Trump’s election-fraud baloney. Assuming Mr. Whatley is elected to the post, the odds of him exhibiting any independent judgment in his new role are next to nil. Still, when it comes to the installation of blindly loyal minions, Mr. Trump is a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy. And, after all, family is family.

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