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The first ad of the 2024 presidential campaign is here, and it's from ... Larry Hogan?

It’s pretty optimistic of him to believe there’ll be an election in 2024.

The guy in office right now is trying to strongarm state legislators into overturning the election and declaring him president for life or whatever. I’d say odds of another election are no better than 50/50.

Well … 60/40.

It feels a little early for this, no?

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan took a veiled shot at President Trump in a new political video that signals aspirations to lead the Republican Party in a different direction and seek the White House in 2024.

Issued Monday, the video harkens back to Ronald Reagan as an example of a broadly popular Republican president who influenced American politics for a generation. Using snippets of a speech he delivered at the Ronald Reagan Institute think tank in Washington just after the Nov. 3 election, Hogan points to his popularity and pragmatic leadership in deep-blue Maryland as a model for Republicans to follow after Trump leaves the White House in January.

He’s been flirting with running for president for years but I’ve never understood it. What’s his niche? “He’s strongly anti-Trump, pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, open to some gun-control regulation, supports the Paris Accord — he’s a centrist Democrat, in other words,” I wrote in 2019. WaPo’s David Byler doesn’t get it either:

Hogan’s started a centrist group called An America United that “rejects the extremes of both political parties, works to break the partisan gridlock, and seeks to bring people together to advance bold, common-sense solutions for all Americans.” That’s a good message for a Republican in deep blue Maryland, not so good for a Republican running in a national primary. Although if Hogan’s aim isn’t to win but to establish himself as the de facto head of the country’s center-right, a quixotic primary challenge to Trump in 2024 wouldn’t be the worst way to do that. By running, he’d distinguish himself instantly from every tough-guy populist GOPer in the country simply by showing that he has the balls to take Trump on. He’d lose, but he might not lose as badly as MAGA fans expect. Come 2024, some Republican voters will still grimace from Trump fatigue, especially if Trump is a constant presence in GOP politics from the sidelines over the next four years. Others will take the hard-headed view that it’s foolish to nominate a guy who lost the popular vote twice.

I could imagine Hogan getting 20 percent in a primary, not remotely enough to win but enough for him to prove that there’s meaningful segment of the right that wants more pragmatism from the party. Which may be all he’s after.

The other possibility is that he’s setting up a third-party run here, which also isn’t crazy if you think Biden’s going to quit after one term and be replaced on the ticket by the more progressive Kamala Harris. A Harris vs. Trump campaign would leave plenty of political space in the center — again, not enough for Hogan to win but maybe enough for him to prove that there’s a sizable centrist vote out there that needs catering to. The risk to him, though, is that he’ll cannibalize more of Biden’s 2020 vote than Trump’s and end up tilting the election to Trump over Harris.

This de facto campaign ad also makes me wonder: When is Trump going to declare his 2024 intentions? Rumors keep swirling about it. And lately they’ve gotten more concrete.

President Trump is considering a made-for-TV grand finale: a White House departure on Marine One and final Air Force One flight to Florida for a political rally opposite Joe Biden’s inauguration, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios…

The big picture: The Trump talk could create a split-screen moment: the outgoing president addressing a roaring crowd in an airport hangar while the incoming leader is sworn in before a socially distanced audience outside the Capitol, as NBC News first reported.

Immediately announcing he is running for re-election in 2024 would set up four years of Trump playing Biden’s critic-in-chief.

This is what I mean about Hogan getting 20 percent in a primary. Four out of five Republicans imagine Trump holding a rally to step on Biden’s inauguration and think “awesome!” The other one thinks “ugh.”

Here’s the ad. For a centrist, this guy sure does love him some Ronald Reagan!