McCormick started out as an actual Pennsylvanian, though he had to come back from Connecticut for the campaign. He's got a PhD from Princeton, worked for McKinsey, and had a great hedge fund career. He served as Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs under Georg W. Bush. He's a trustee of the Aspen Institute. And lest you mistake him for some elitist candy-ass, know that after he graduated from West Point, he was an Honor graduate from Ranger school (I had a brother-in-law who was a Ranger, and those guys don't play). McCormick got in the habit of saying he served as a Ranger; he didn't.
He apparently backed Jeb Bush, but did not donate to the Trump campaign either time, though Trump ultimately offered him the Deputy Secretary of Defense job (he turned it down so he could keep hedge funding). McCormick's wife, Dina Powell, served as Deputy National Security Advisor for former President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2018. She also served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs from 2005 to 2007 under former President George W. Bush.
In his run for Pat Toomey's seat in PA, he was heavily portrayed as a liberal Wall Street Republican. "Nice guy," said Trump, "but not MAGA."
Well, apparently he's working on that. He recently appeared on a Philly radio talk show, where he was asked about the dreaded wokeness in America's education system. Here's the reply, as flagged by American Bridge 21st Century:
Our schools are failing, in terms of teaching our kids the ability to compete on a global stage. But more than that, they're teaching them that America is not exceptional. If you look at the history that's being taught, and the key to preserving America is that our children believe it's exceptional and they fight to keep it that way. And so that's my biggest issue. And this all became clear during COVID, because all of a sudden, parents could see that the history that was being taught, the sexualization that was happening, particularly in our elementary schools, they could see that teachers were making decisions that were not in the best interests of their children. And that's why we've got to break the back of our teachers' unions and our public school system and give kids choice and get parents more involved. And if there was ever a case for that, we've seen it recently.
It's all the hits, including some oldies like the "compete on a global stage" trope, plus new standards like "during COVID, everyone saw that schools are awful." So let's "break the back of the teachers' union" and of course all so we can involve parents and give kids choices.
Hats off as well to the call to teach American exceptionalism.
All of this is consistent with his original campaign materials, which tried hard to capitalize on culture wars and MAGA outrage.
Now McCormick has a book-- Something Something Renew America-- and GOP establishment types are reportedly urging him to go after Bob Casey's Senate seat in 2024. The could turn into quite the primary, as failed gubernatorial MAGA Jan 6 apologist and Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano is also "praying about" a run for that seat. Either one would make a terrible Senator and a threat to public education in the US.