The media, both red and blue, have accepted that Trump is actively running to be the Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election.
The idea of Trump running in 2024 is mostly in the eyes of the media. Mark Halperin, an excellent political analyst, placed Trump as #1 on his list of likely Republican candidates. We ignored independents and see that there is virtually no chance Trump will run.
He officially announced on November 15, from his Mar-a-Lago home that he would be running for president in 2024.
Trump’s purpose now is to control who will be on the top of the Republican ticket. His primary objective in promoting a possible candidacy likely is to raise campaign money for himself.
It may be those circumstances that forced him to go on record that he is running. He isn’t. Furthermore, he likely knows that running again as the Republican candidate would be a disaster. He also does not care that the game he is playing will do damage to DeSantis or Cruz or several others that want to be the 2024 candidate.
His decision was likely made before the Mar-a-Lago FBI search.
Trump’s character flaws are a huge minus among independents. Pathological liars, unfaithful partners, and world-class narcissists just scratch the surface. Flaws aside, he is a brilliant showman, and he has convinced several million ardent followers that he is the real deal or the second coming. That base, as supportive as it is, is not enough to carry him to a 2024 victory. That base is certainly stable, but it is not growing.
The January 6 hearings have been a minus with independents. Trump supporters will disagree and argue that January 6 hearings are just a bad D-stage show. That is not true for a large number within the “silent middle”. No matter how he is framed in the media, Trump’s character will remain front and center. He knows he will LOSE if he is the nominee. No matter the negative thoughts on Trump’s intellect, he knows that the last statement is almost certainly true.
Trump puts himself front and center as “the man” in the context of influencing who runs for what office. Trump is an incredible salesman when he is on stage or before the cameras. For the next 13+ months, he will not give a hint that he is walking back his decision. That would cripple his hold on the ring kissers and fundraising and his influence would instantly dissolve.
Assuming he remains in reasonably good health, Trump will play the “I’m running” role with an Oscar-worthy performance, but when the calendar in 2023 says it is time to confirm that he will be the candidate, he will likely bail. That will be true even if the Republicans do very well in the midterms. Unless he is indicted, Trump will continue until then to be one of the lead candidates to be the Republican nominee.
Why is the media –both sides– convinced by Trump’s words that he will run? Because they are looking at this through their more normal eyes and what logic says Trump, now the clear leader in the “you get to be the Republican candidate for President” sweepstakes will do.
Forget “normal” for the moment. Look at the 2024 election through Trump’s eyes and his mental makeup when predicting what HE will decide. What does Trump dislike and hate more than anything? LOSERS. That is one of his words of choice to describe people he despises.
Trump has still not mentally recovered from being the LOSING candidate in the 2020 election. This was a “World to see” loss that he cannot bury, as he has so many other much less important losses. Trump has refused to accept the results of the 2020 election because he would then admit to being a LOSER. He mentally cannot do that. He will pursue vote and election stealing charges in the 2020 vote if he is performing as a likely candidate.
Biden is not going to run again either. When the Democrats do pick a bright younger well qualified candidate, Trump would be in a fight that would be almost impossible to win.
The possibility of a loss is Trump’s red line in the sand. A 2024 loss would destroy him. He knows that a 2024 defeat would tag him as an all-time BIGGEST OF THE BIG LOSERS. That is the way the world would see him for the rest of his life – and then in the history books. People in Washington, New York, Florida, and all the “I told you so” Republicans would be merciless. He physically and mentally cannot take that risk as he likely knows that a 2024 election loss would instantly cancel everything, HE holds dear in HIS life.
The independent voter will be no help, particularly with Biden retired. Many Independents loathe Trump and everything he is and stands for. Although Trump is self-absorbed and gives thought only to himself, HE can sense that his support is slipping. He also knows that many Republicans do not want him to run. They too can see that a LOSS is very likely.
One commentator recently made an astute observation. A majority of voters, both red and blue, do not want either Biden or Trump to run again. If Trump goes and Biden stays, odds are that Biden will lose. The commentator opened that the younger candidate would Win. Same in reverse. If Biden goes and Trump stays, Trump has virtually no chance of winning.
Finally, do the ultimate reality check. What happens when Trump is possibly at great personal risk? 1968 answers. Donald “bone spurs” Trump pulled every string he could to avoid military service during Vietnam. Big risk. Run out the door. That is what and who he is and what he will do again.
Mark D. Olson
Mr. Olson has fifty years of experience in the practice of law, and has a deep understanding of the interplay between the impact of legal matters and the client’s own experiences during the process. His practice is concentrated in the healthcare industry. Clients include hospitals, home health agencies, physician groups, surgical centers, IPAs, hospices, ancillary service providers, adult day care agencies and nursing homes.