by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Mark Meadows isn’t planning on running again for elected office, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t advancing former President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda from behind the scenes.
The former White House chief of staff told the Washington Examiner in an exclusive interview about his plans that joining the Conservative Partnership Institute after leaving the Trump administration expired on Jan. 20 allowed him to take on the “Herculean task” of countering the “very active Biden administration.”
“I have no plans to run for elected office again,” the former North Carolina congressman and House Freedom Caucus chairman said. “I found that home and the Conservative Partnership that allows me to actually stay in the fight, the war, very closely.”
Founded by former South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, CPI’s conservative chops can’t be questioned. Still, it’s essentially a think tank — Meadows called it an “incubator” — and for a man whose former boss was elected on the promise of draining the swamp, it seems like, in theory, one of the swampiest landing places in town.
Trump’s former right-hand man laughed off that criticism, stating that the “beauty” of CPI is that “we’re an action tank, not a think tank.”
“There’s plenty of ideas in Washington, D.C., just not a lot of courage,” he mused. “So, if there’s one thing that the Conservative Partnership is all about, it’s training and equipping and unifying the conservative movement so that they have courage to do what actually serves the people best.”
In Meadows’s mind, CPI has spent the past six months becoming a “control center” or “efficient hub,” from where he can drive policy in two specific ways. First and foremost, providing various outside conservative groups the “tools” and human capital necessary to be effective in fighting back against “leftist, Marxist, socialist policy.”