As Trump prepares for a campaign rally in Phoenix, Gov. Doug Ducey has decided to stay away.
Even though 2020 is far in the future, Donald Trump has never stopped holding campaign rallies.
His latest event will be held in Phoenix, Arizona. Authorities fear the prospect of violent clashes between supporters and protestors. The scene could get particularly ugly if Trump decides to make good on his word and pardon ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who faces contempt of court for refusing to end racial profiling, and whose racist policies in Phoenix are only starting to be reformed.
One person in particular is not enthusiastic about the prospect of Trump's arrival: Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.
Ducey will greet Trump on the tarmac after Air Force One lands in Phoenix, but he refuses to attend the rally. In a statement to the Arizona Republic, Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato stated that the governor's "focus has been working with law enforcement toward a safe event in downtown Phoenix for all those involved and in the area. That will continue to be his priority during the event and afterwards."
The fact that Ducey would feel the need to distance himself this much from Trump a mere seven months into his presidency is remarkable. Trump carried his state, and Ducey is up for re-election next year. On paper, aligning himself with the president from his own party ought to be an easy decision.
Moreover, Ducey is a hardline right-winger. He signed a brutally extreme live-birth abortion law, tried to impose work requirements on sick Medicaid patients, and warned he would preempt Arizona cities from raising their minimum wage. He and Trump agree on a great many things.
Nevertheless, Trump has become so toxic and such a liability that even extreme conservative bullies like Ducey are having second thoughts about being too closely tied to him.
Trump may need these campaign-style rallies to stroke his ego. But everywhere he goes, he finds fewer and fewer allies.