Willie Brown: Donald Trump will still run the GOP — it’s the fear factor

Donald Trump is not going away.

He will leave the White House when the U-Haul pulls up on Jan. 20, but he won’t be leaving the national stage.

I’m not sure he will ever concede, if for no other reason than to ensure that we all pay rapt attention to his every word and tweet until Joe Biden takes the oath of office.

Trump got more than 72 million votes. For all the talk about Democrats’ grassroots energy, it was the Trumpites who were out parading and knocking on doors leading up to the election. Most of the down-ballot Republicans who stuck with Trump — which is to say, practically all of them — survived.

They’re not going to abandon Trump just because he’s out of office. And if GOP officeholders try to play ball with Democrats, the former president will have a receptive audience for his outraged tweets.

Who knows, he might even try to hold rallies. If he does, there will be plenty of people who will go see him, if only because they find him highly entertaining.

The mere threat of his retribution will have Republican officeholders shaking in their boots. Because Trump does not operate in the pursuit of dignity. He operates in the pursuit of fear.

And in the world of politics, fear wins.

Picking a senator: Knowing Gov. Gavin Newsom, his first inclination will be to name a Black woman to replace Kamala Harris in the Senate when she becomes vice president. The two leading candidates would be Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee and Los Angeles Rep. Karen Bass, either of whom would be great.

But he could also go another route and name Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis. That would put him in good standing with the Greek American community here and elsewhere, which isn’t a bad place to be if he wants to fund a national campaign down the line.

He would also get to name Kounalakis’ replacement as lieutenant governor. The same two-for-one deal applies if he selects one of the state’s two leading Latino officeholders, Secretary of State Alex Padilla or Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Or he could appoint someone who won’t run for a full term in 2022 — thus giving everyone who wants the job an even shot.

Lucky meal: Tosca Cafe on Columbus in North Beach has closed and reopened three or four times since Jeannette Etheredge relinquished her ownership. Each time it starts to reopen, something happens.

The latest reopening was Wednesday. I had one of the best family-style meals I’ve had in a long time, even at $75 per person.

But now Tosca has to join the rest of the city’s struggling restaurants and shut down indoor dining.

It’s as if a voodoo lady from Louisiana has put a curse on the place.

Virtual charity: The holidays are upon us, and one of my favorite charities is modifying its end-of-the-year fundraising drive.

The virtual Salvation Army luncheon is Wednesday, and the online connection is www.holidayluncheonsf.org. The group made a promotional video that goes online the same day in which I make an appearance as an honorary major, epaulets and all.

And by the way, virus be damned: The Christmas tree is going up in Union Square.

Sleep tight: I was at the House of Prime Rib, having a “last supper” before indoor dining ends, when I got to talking with two real estate agents about condos in the city.

One guy said: “I know this three-bedroom place that’s a real bargain.”

“Really? Three bedrooms? How big is the master bedroom?” I asked.

There was a pause.

“Mayor Brown — man, are you lame.”

“What do you mean, I’m lame?”

“You don’t call them ‘master’ bedrooms anymore. In this day and age, it’s the principal bedroom.”

Want to sound off? Email wbrown@sfchronicle.com

Article source: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/williesworld/article/Willie-Brown-Donald-Trump-will-still-run-the-GOP-15726345.php

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