For anyone who tuned into Fox News to watch the inaugural Republican primary debates, it was difficult to shake the feeling that this was all much ado about being second behind former President Donald Trump (who was not in attendance).
There’s now photographic evidence that people in attendance at the debate probably felt the same way. Or, at least one prominent GOP figure felt that way.
Enter: Fiery Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Ms. Greene is no stranger to controversy, but her controversies typically involve her outspoken attitude and bombastic rhetoric.
This particular controversy is positively subdued for Greene — but it doesn’t make it any less emblematic of what most Americans probably felt last night watching the debates.
Reporter Glenn Greenwald, who was in attendance in Milwaukee for the GOP debates, shared a photo on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Greenwald, who was apparently seated right near Greene, posted a candid photo of what the Georgia representative was doing instead of giving her attention to the candidates on stage:
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 24, 2023
“I’m sitting directly behind @RepMTG at the GOP presidential debate and her attention appears to be at least…. divided,” Greenwald posted.
The reason for Greene’s “divided” attention?
None other than GOP primary front-runner and notable debate absentee Donald Trump.
The former president opted to skip the first debates, arguing that his commanding lead in the polls meant there was nothing but downside to debating.
Despite not being in attendance, Trump made sure that he would still be a topic du jour on Wednesday night by having a pre-recorded X interview with Tucker Carlson air simultaneously with the debate.
Based on Greenwald’s picture, it’s pretty clear that the Carlson interview held far more interest for Greene than whatever it was that was happening on stage.
(And based on some biting social media responses, like this one asking “Can you blame her?”, the lack of interest in the debate itself was palpable.)
You can watch the interview for yourself below:
Ep. 19 Debate Night with Donald J Trump pic.twitter.com/ayPfII48CO
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 24, 2023
And while official viewership ratings for the Fox News debate are still not in, the numbers on that Carlson interview suggest that Greene was hardly the only person who would rather listen to Trump and Carlson, instead of Chris Christie and Mike Pence.
As of this writing, that X interview has over 230 million views on the ubiquitous social media platform — a mighty impressive number by any metric.
Greene was clearly one of those 230 million views, based on Greenwald’s photo, and it goes to show you just how deep Trump’s influence runs in the Republican party and among voters.
But last night featured some genuinely heavy-hitters if you’re at all interested in what the GOP’s future may look like post-Trump.
Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and others could play an outsized role in GOP politics for years to come.
And yet, if Greene’s behavior is as representative as it seems, most people still couldn’t care less. It’s all about Trump, for better or for worse, for the GOP.
Last night’s debate really reinforced that point.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.