Trump to Hannity on 2024: "Beyond seriously"

Will he or won’t he? “First of all, it’s a long time,” Donald Trump tells Fox News’ Sean Hannity after being asked multiple times about his plans in 2024. After several minutes of laying out a defense of his presidency and casual platform for a second term, Trump tells Hannity that he’s “very seriously — beyond seriously” considering another run at the presidency.

“What are the odds” of another run, Hannity also asks, and Trump’s answer puts them even-up at worst:

Trump teased the idea of a 2024 presidential run, but again declined to fully commit, during a sit-down interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

“So I say this, I am looking at it very seriously, beyond seriously,” Trump said.

“From a legal standpoint, I don’t want to really talk about it yet, it’s a little too soon,” he added.

Yeah, that’s all but a declaration. Coming from other politicians, it might not sound as committal, but from Trump — who never likes to back down, even when it might benefit him — that’s a statement that will be tough to negate. The New York Post’s suggestion that this isn’t a “fully commit” type of statement is literally true, but only barely.

Trump’s right that 2024 is still a ways off, but it’s not a long time off. Realistically speaking, anyone seriously considering a run for the 2024 GOP nomination will need to launch in about 20 months, and will need to start organizing well before then. The midterms will provide tests of organizing, fundraising, and influence, where prospective primary candidates offer support in House and Senate races and take credit for wins when they occur. Trump has never stopped those efforts; the first few minutes of the above clip are focused on Trump’s campaigning for the GOP in midterm efforts to retake control of Congress.

The second half of this clip will remind Republicans what they may be getting if the party lines up behind Trump, however. He’s still angry over the Russia-collusion attacks, insisting that his friendly relationships with Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are “a good thing,” and making it mostly about himself. That worked for Trump in 2016 when running against Hillary Clinton but not as well in 2020 against Biden. Republicans might not be as enthusiastic to feed into another personality-driven campaign, especially after watching the utter debacle that produced in the final two months of Trump’s presidency.

The big question will be who might stay in against Trump if he does decide to enter the race. Anyone who counts on a big draw from the MAGA wing probably would be forced to sit out, including Ron DeSantis, who’s young enough to wait for 2028 if necessary. We might end up seeing the counterweights emerge, perhaps including Nikki Haley, although she claimed she’d also sit out if Trump ran. DeSantis has a platform as governor of Florida to sustain him; Haley has no platform, so she either has to get into the race in 2024 or run for another office in the meantime. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley won’t cross Trump, so that leaves … who, exactly? Doug Ducey or Greg Abbott, maybe?

Of course, all this might be moot if Trump can’t shake his legal woes in New York before the end of next year. That might end up being the real test for Trump, especially if prosecutors there take their investigations of Trump’s business practices “beyond seriously” as well.