Heading into the midterms, the Republican party looks good. Even with the shock move by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, Republican prospects are good to retake the House and Senate.
That is, if the Donald Trump factor doesn't interfere.
Republican leaders are encouraging Trump not to announce his intent to run for president in 2024 until after the midterms, because of the potential fall-out from bringing his name into play too soon.
Trump holds all the trump cards, if you'll pardon the pun - even though the RNC has said they'll stop paying the former President's legal bills if he announces.
But other than chiding him and promising to withdraw their financial help, the Republican party has been otherwise silent as Trump holds all the power ahead of the midterms, holding their prospects hostage.
Fear or Favoritism?
It could simply be because Republican leadership is out of touch with their base.
While Trump's popularity with his loyal voters hasn't lessened any - if anything, the January 6 House hearings have strengthened their support - they are increasingly acknowledging that he may have too much baggage to win another general election.
More and more, staunch Trump supporters are saying that while they love their guy, they don't want him to be the nominee in 2024 because it will lessen the Republican party's chances of retaking the presidency.
But Republican leaders are hesitant to challenge Trump because of his staggering popularity among Republican voters they can't count on showing up if Trump is out of the equation.
So is it just fear of losing those voters keeping Republican leaders quiet?
All signs point to yes.
However, Republican leaders are losing an opportunity to capitalize on the shifting feelings of voters. They can still support a Trump agenda, and appear to support Trump himself - while pushing other Republican stars to the forefront and reclaiming the party's momentum.
Their ability to do so with any teeth hinges entirely on whether Trump announces before or after the midterms. If he announces before, he could drive anti-Trump Democrats and Independent voters to the polls in numbers enough to snatch victory from Republicans. If he announces after, he has less power with Republican leadership.
Trump knows that he holds all the power right now, and he may be using this grandstanding to wrest agreements and promises from Republican leaders. Unfortunately for the Trump team, it's exactly this grandstanding and the ongoing controversies from January 6 that are turning voters off from another presidential run - so he may be overplaying his hand.
He Looks a Little Sick
While headlines swirled around the heating up contest between Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the 2024 nomination, Trump took to the golf course.
But something seemed a little off. The normally tan-faced president looked pale and somewhat sickly, an entirely different person than we're used to seeing.
Of course, the fact that it was hot and humid may have a lot to do with the President's off-brand appearance.
But it's the kind of image he can't afford as he's trying to portray a leader in his prime and ready to seize victory once again.
As he played golf, Trump often left his companions behind, picked the ball up before he could wrack up too many shots, and seemed happy to take a victory lap with a disappointing performance.
The overall tableau was a metaphor for what's going on with the Republican party right now in general; Trump in the lead, doing as he wishes, and his companions left floundering as he already claims victory for a game not even halfway completed.