As Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election he lost to Joe Biden seem increasingly unlikely to succeed, the president and those in his orbit are apparently looking ahead—possibly to 2024. Trump, contemplating what his future will look like upon exiting the White House, reportedly sees running again as a way to preserve his hold on the political and media landscape, and he may announce plans to do so before year’s end. “One adviser who recently spoke with the president said that Trump told him he planned to announce a new campaign in three weeks, and that he wanted to act quickly to try to freeze the large field of prospective 2024 Republican presidential candidates,” according to the Washington Post. The group of potential GOP contenders includes Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—whose political ambitions have recently drawn attention following a trip to Israel seen as presidential posturing—and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Given Trump’s erratic tendencies, some confidants emphasized that the president has yet to make a final decision on the matter but noted that announcing a 2024 bid would help Trump maintain a presence in Republican politics and ensure loyalty prior to another presidential run. “It would be a fool’s errand to declare you’re running for president at the end of this year, but on the other hand, to keep your hold over the party and fight Republican legacy hierarchy so that they can’t erase you from history, it’s important to remain a front-runner in this process,” said ex-Trump adviser Sam Nunberg.
There have been previous murmurs of a Trump 2024 bid, but not with concrete timing. That Trump is reportedly considering announcing his next act within a matter of weeks, even as he and his lawyers attack the democratic process and try to reverse his loss in court, betrays the president’s belief in his own campaign’s dimming legal battle. Trump surrogates are apparently pumping the brakes on publicizing the lawsuit charade, at least when it comes to promoting their failures on air:
The optics-obsessed president may see announcing a new campaign as a way to preserve his image on the heels of his loss. “I do think if he’s not declared the winner he’ll make it clear he’s running again in 2024,” a senior Trump campaign staffer said. One senior administration official who had recently spoken to Trump told the Post that “you will not persuade him that he should change his time frame on making any decision based on what’s quote unquote best for the party. He doesn’t care,” a self-interest that may come to dominate the party apparatus. “We could find ourselves deep into a 2024 election cycle, into mid-2023, and he still hasn’t definitely said he’s not running and you’re just going to see all these 2024 potential contenders uncertain about what to do.”
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