Report: Trump may announce on July 4

AP Photo/Chris Seward

There are decent reasons to announce early and better reasons not to, but the key factor identified here by NBC rings true.

It’s boredom. Trump is bored at Mar-a-Lago farting out a dozen endorsements each day for Republican candidates across the country, most of whom he couldn’t pick out of a line-up, in races he doesn’t really care about.


In fact, the endorsement game has become more of a liability for him than an asset. Apart from high-profile races like the Ohio Senate primary, it barely qualifies as news when a Trump-backed candidate wins. But when a Trump-backed candidate loses? *Big* news. The headlines about Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger winning without runoffs went on for days in national political media.

So he’s sitting around, unhappy with his current lot, exasperated at the thought of filling his days with golf and 16 hours of watching Fox News for the rest of the year. And every day he waits is another day in which that other guy from Florida has the Republican political stage all to himself.

Some of his advisors are reportedly urging him to wait, but good luck with that.

“I’ve laid out my case on why I think he should do it,” said longtime Trump adviser Jason Miller, who traveled with the former president to a rally in Wyoming over Memorial Day weekend. “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.”…

Two people in Trump’s orbit told NBC News they had been asked informally to hold July 4 as a date for a possible announcement, but Miller — noting that Trump hasn’t yet decided to run — said it is “not true” that the day has been reserved, even unofficially, for a launch…

Perhaps more important, Trump is frustrated by the ennui of engaging mostly through midterm endorsements for candidates he hardly knows, especially when — as has happened in several recent high-profile primaries — they lose.


Go figure that Miller wants him to do it. All of the people in Trump’s orbit whose relevance depends entirely on their connection to him have an interest in him running again, the sooner the better. The longer he waits, the greater the chance that he’ll change his mind. If you’re Jason Miller and your meal ticket retires, what’s your next move?

Still, there are some advantages to jumping in early. The more certain a huge Republican midterm wave becomes, the more incentive Trump has to jump out in front of the parade and claim credit when it happens. At a minimum, if he announces early and the GOP cleans up on Election Day, the press will treat it as evidence that Trump is no longer as much of a burden to the party as he was two years ago.

Beyond that, by getting in early he’d turn the 2024 primary cycle into a presumptive coronation rather than a competition. He knows that DeSantis can’t announce his own presidential bid until next year at the earliest, as he needs to focus on getting reelected in Florida first. And he’s probably calculating — correctly — that lesser hopefuls like Nikki Haley wouldn’t have the balls to challenge him if he jumps in first and gets to work setting expectations among Republican voters than he’ll be the nominee again next time.

But there are disadvantages too. If he jumps in this summer then Democrats are destined to use his candidacy as part of a broader “party of Trump” attack line against the GOP in the midterms. Look at it from Herschel Walker’s perspective: Would you rather run on your own image in Georgia, where you’re a glorious football hero, or run attached at the hip with Trump, who’s lost every major race he contested there in the past two years? If Trump declares and Republicans end up underperforming nationally, DeSantis fans and Republican establishmentarians will rush to blame him for it and beg GOP voters to nominate someone more electable in 2024. That message may resonate.


There are legal ramifications too. “If Trump announces a bid, his campaign committee will be subject to hard-money fundraising limits and a technical ban on coordinating with his Save America PAC,” NBC notes. And there’s also the problem of Trump fatigue for swing voters. How can they miss him if he won’t go away, at least until after the midterms? The country spent five and a half years being inundated with daily coverage of him; now, after a respite of just 18 months, they’re going to be inundated again. And not just with the usual Trump antics, as his core message for the rest of this year will probably be his eternal hobbyhorse, the allegedly stolen election of 2020.

If so, it may be a blessing for DeSantis to have Trump jump in early. So long as 45 has the field to himself, his mania will lead him back to a subject that reminds people he’s nuts and a candidate of the past. Once DeSantis gets in, Trump will have a target in the form of a new rival and the “stolen election” gibberish will be backburnered.

Don’t underestimate Trump’s strength, though. Check this out:


It’s not like Rick Scott is a nobody. He’s a household name in Florida, having been elected governor twice and senator once. He’s already moved up the ranks of Republican leadership in the Senate too as the current chair of the NRSC. He might eventually succeed McConnell as caucus leader. Yet he’s getting smoked here by Junior, who’s never held elected office at any level, presumably due to some combination of brand value and Trump Jr’s gleeful and tireless efforts to own the libs on social media. The UK has been celebrating its monarchy all week but they’re not the only political outfit in the west with a royal family.

Here’s Liz Cheney telling the truth, as usual.

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Jazz Shaw 1:00 PM | July 14, 2024