Donald Trump is considering endorsing Lara Trump — his daughter-in-law and an aspiring singer-songwriter who recently released a cringe-worthy cover of Tom Petty's “I Won't Back Down” — to co-chair the Republican National Committee, The New York Times reported on Monday.
O Times reported Last week, Ronna McDaniel, the current chair of the RNC, told Trump that she plans to resign from the position she has held since 2017 after the South Carolina primary later this month. Trump is now expected to support Michael Whatley — the committee's general counsel and a supporter of the lie that Trump won the 2020 election — to replace McDaniel. His son Eric's wife could get Trump's endorsement for co-president.
Lara Trump played multiple roles in Trump's 2016 and 2020 presidential bids, including as a reliable sycophantic surrogate in right-wing media. Her media presence does not include many thoughtful political discussions. Earlier this month, for example, she tried to claim on her show, “The Right View with Lara Trump,” that Trump is playing a lot of golf now because he won't have time for it when he takes back the White House, because he will be too busy “saving the country”.
TV hits are not uncommon for RNC bosses, but Lara Trump would also have to balance her duties as co-chair with a booming singing career. She released a truly horrible to cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” earlier this year, largely branding the imitation as its own song. Here she is serenading Australian television:
Lara Trump's cover isn't the only time the Trumps have tried to co-opt “I Won't Back Down” as a MAGA anthem. Trump did this at a rally during his 2020 presidential run, and Petty's estate was upset.
“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to promote a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” Petty’s estate said in a statement at the time. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family stand firmly against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want one of his songs to be used in a hate campaign. He liked to bring people together.”
Maneuvering to install a singing family member on the Republican Party's fundraising and strategy committee isn't a particularly surprising move from a former president who favors loyalty above all else — as evidenced by him bringing in his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner to his administration while he was in office. If he supports Lara Trump and she is elected, along with Whatley, it will be yet another sign that the Republican Party no longer serves any role outside of serving Trump's quest for absolute power.