If you lived through the years 2016 to 2020, you probably know that there are no fewer than 827,995,126 reasons why Donald Trump should never be allowed to be president again, including but in no way limited to: his penchant for extortion, his total disregard for human life, his affection for murderous authoritarians, and his history of unleashing fascist mobs on America when things don‘t go his way. Unfortunately, in February 2021, Republican senators chose not to bar him from ever holding office again, despite some of those senators admitting publicly that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the violent insurrection that took place the prior month. Which leaves us in our current hell-state, in which the former guy is apparently planning to announce a bid for 2024 soon.
NBC News reports that Trump is “bored at Mar-a-Lago and anxious to get back in the political arena—as a candidate, not a kingmaker,” according to advisers who are “divided over whether he should launch a third bid for the presidency as early as this summer.” (Trump, of course, found 99% of the job of being president hugely boring, particularly the daily briefings he ignored. But apparently he can only remember the parts of the gig he enjoyed, like shredding documents and exploiting the office for personal gain and revenge on his enemies.) According to reporter Jonathan Allen, while some of Trump’s allies think he should wait until after the midterms to announce, others believe going out early would allow him to “harness supporters” and cut other potential candidates off at the knees. “I’ve laid out my case on why I think he should do it,” longtime adviser Jason Miller told NBC News. “I think that there being clarity about what his intentions are [is important] so he can start building that operation while it’s still fresh in people’s minds and they’re still active—a lot of that can be converted into 2024 action.” Another advisor who thinks it would be more prudent to wait until after November acknowledged that Trump famously had the impulse control of a toddler, and will likely declare “sooner rather than later.”
Two sources told NBC News that they had been told a possible announcement could come on July 4, though Miller claimed no date has been decided on. Last month, the The New York Times reported that Trump has “spoken to aides recently about declaring his candidacy this summer as a way to box out other candidates,” which definitely sounds like something he‘d do. Puck News’ Tara Palmeri reported last week that she’d been told that if most of the candidates the ex-president has endorsed win their general elections, he’ll announce in November; if they don’t, he’d push it back to January or February 2023.
Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for Trump, issued a vague statement to Allen, saying, “America was strong, prosperous, and greatly respected under President Trump, and that’s why he continues to have unprecedented strength through his endorsement record and the demand for his leadership has never been higher.” (Obviously, many of those claims range from “highly debatable” to “outright lies,” particularly the idea that America was “greatly respected” under the 45th president.) As others have noted, one big reason Trump might want to delay an announcement, even if he’s made up is mind, is because his campaign committee would be subject to more rules and banned from coordinating with his super PAC.
Despite having suffered a humiliating defeat in 2020—so humiliating, in fact, that he still can’t admit it happened—one major reason Trump might make a third run at the White House is that he believes the presidency can shield him from the legal peril he’s currently in. “Why wouldn’t he run?,” Mary Trump, his niece, wondered aloud last fall. “He’s in so much trouble, legally, criminally, and civilly.” For his part, the former guy has been happy to suggest to his supporters he’ll be making another stab at it. “The truth is: I ran twice, I won twice, and I did much better the second time,” he said during a rally in March, lying about the 2020 results. “And now we just may have to do it again.”
These reports (re: Trump trying to return to the White House) come amid yet further evidence that he has no business within 10,000 feet of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. On Friday, The New York Times reported that one day before the January 6 insurrection, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff alerted the Secret Service that the then president was going to put the then VP in grave danger thanks to the latter’s refusal to block the certification of Joe Biden’s win. Which, as we know, is exactly what happened.
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