Like every Republican hopeful not named “Trump,” Hawley has been pondering how to jump the competition — and what to do about the party’s leader who consumes all the political oxygen in the room?

Hawley’s answer: Tie yourself to Trump’s mast. Trump has an ocean of followers. For Republican primary contenders, it’s sink or sail in that sea.

But suppose Trump runs?

You can’t afford to worry about that if you hanker to be president. You better be willing to spend the next three years — and your donors’ money — aggressively campaigning. If Trump doesn’t run, you’re ready. If he does run, you’ve invested in 2028.

And let’s face it. Trump isn’t all that likely to run. In 2023, he may be enjoying private life while still controlling the GOP; he may be making too much money from owning a new cable network and starring in his own show — or he may be unable to hold campaign rallies if the Adirondack Correctional Facility in upstate New York doesn’t issue weekend furloughs.