I think we all know why former President Donald Trump is running again in 2024: to keep his ass out of jail. Trump is dogged by indictments and subpoenas, and although he may have dodged two impeachment bullets, federal district attorneys aren’t so easy to outrun.
Despite his many legal issues, Trump and his BFF, hubris, announced his candidacy from his Florida manse.
“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump told an eager crowd at Mar-a-Lago in mid-November.
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Fast-forward to December and aside from a now-infamous dinner the former president shared with two other antisemites, he’s barely left his bedroom, a 2020 Trump campaign adviser told CNN.
“So far, he has gone down from his bedroom, made an announcement, gone back up to his bedroom, and hasn’t been seen since except to have dinner with a White supremacist,” the unnamed adviser said, adding, “It’s 1000% a ho-hum campaign.”
Just three days after Trump made his lackluster announcement, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to oversee not one but two ongoing criminal investigations against the former president.
As for polling on Trump’s support for 2024, it appears he’s just a bit ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 36% to DeSantis’ 30%. But a Quinnipiac poll suggests that Republicans prefer DeSantis as their candidate over Trump.
And Republicans smell blood in the water. It seems nearly everyone, from former Vice President Mike Pence to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—along with scads of others—have all condemned his dinner with Kanye “Ye” West and his buddy, notorious Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes. When you add that nearly every single candidate Trump endorsed lost in the midterm elections, it’s not looking great.
But here’s that hubris again as Trump goes into full denial mode, confidently telling his advisers that the backlash over the dinner is “dying down.”
Trump’s campaign team tells CNN their candidate is simply “taking a breather.” And an unnamed adviser told the outlet:
“The question a lot of us have is can Trump sustain a campaign for two years? That’s the real difficulty here. The pacing we’re seeing right now is designed to do that.”
Breather or not, the Trump of 2015—with all the vim and vigor of a white supremacist hoping to take control of the nation—seems to have dimmed. What Trump can’t face is that politics are fickle. When you’re hot, you’re hot; and when you’re not, you’re Trump.