Running in a primary election against a sitting President is, generally speaking, a futile effort. To come up with a plausible primary challenge, you’ve got to think back pretty far, maybe to 1980, when Edward Kennedy challenged President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination—and even then Kennedy failed. But just about everything in the Presidency of Donald Trump has been unprecedented, so we shouldn’t be very surprised to see something unusual in the 2020 campaign. And it looks like Bill Weld is going to run against Donald Trump to become the Republican nominee.
There aren’t many Republicans like Bill Weld in national politics these days. Weld is a lawyer and a former Justice Department official, and he served as governor of Massachusetts for much of the nineteen-nineties. In 2016, he ran as Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. He’s a New England moderate—that is, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But Weld is not at all moderate in his views on Donald Trump.