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Jeff Sessions Announces Alabama Senate Bid By Sucking Up to Trump

Sessions hopes to recreate this scene of approval from his 2017 swearing-in ceremony. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Thursday night, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his candidacy to unseat Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama, who won Sessions’s former Senate seat after the Republican candidate in the 2017 special election, Roy Moore, faced multiple credible allegations of child molestation. Though Sessions’s Senate bid had been expected for weeks, its format was not: an awkward video for an executive audience of one, all but begging for his squiggly endorsement.

Though its intent is clear — seeking Trump’s endorsement in a crowded primary field — the 30-second spot raises multiple production questions: Did it cost more or less than Sessions’s lunch on shoot day? Why isn’t it mixed? Why is the candidate not centered in the frame? Why go with sunburst gray-brown for the background, when the Party is working with a pretty strong color palate?

If the style is a bit uncomfortable, one can only imagine the state of Sessions’s ego after reading through the script:

When I left President Trump’s cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? Nope. Have I said a cross word about President Trump? Not one time.


And I’ll tell you why. First that would be dishonorable. I was there to serve his agenda, not mine. Second, the president is doing a great job for America and Alabama and he has my strong support.

If the message is sycophantic, it’s probably also a good idea. Trump has a 59 percent approval rating in Alabama — his second-highest number in the states — while 86 percent of GOP primary voters nationally approve of his performance. Trump may very well play the kingmaker in the Alabama Senate primary. For Sessions, catering to the president’s bottomless need to be complimented and forgetting about all the insults Trump lobbied at him — mocking his accent, calling him a “dumb Southerner,” and calling his appointment to AG his “biggest mistake” — will be worth it if Trump tells Alabama Republicans that he’s the man to unseat Doug Jones, the most vulnerable incumbent in the 2020 Senate races.

Jeff Sessions Announces Senate Bid By Sucking Up to Trump