Former president Donald Trump announced his endorsement of Eric Greitens in Missouri on Monday. Trump's fundamental desire to be admired pulls him in two different directions here, writes Aaron Miller. Miller: Greiten is a prototypical right-wing tough guy, with a fervent advocacy for Trumpism. He says it's a perfect distillation of how Trump has played Republican politics for the last seven years. Miller says the endorsement was a winking endorsement of just one person, couched as a wink-and-a-joke endorsement of one person in the middle of the campaign. The former president's true skill was in being able to talk to both the fringe and the establishment base, Miller says. He says. It’s not a joke, is it?
The “ERIC” endorsement is that, but explicit, Trump aims to remain palatable to, if not popular with, everyone in his party. He’s telling both segments of the party what they want to hear and pretending it's all tongue-in-cheek. Trump will say that he won because of his last-minute endorsement, “joking” that Schmitt is who he meant all along.