Has Donald Trump made a decision about running for president again in 2024? If so, is he about to make an early announcement to declare his candidacy? According to some reports, the answer to both of those questions is yes.
This is not a new topic of discussion but it does seem to be rising to the surface more quickly than some of us thought it would. The Daily Mail reports that Trump is set to make his announcement as early as this month. The decision could be due to several things including creating a distraction from the January 6 committee hearings and concern over the rise of interest in Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. An early announcement from Trump would at least initially move the discussion away from all that. Aides are “scrambling” to keep up, according to the New York Times. The Daily Mail uses sources from both the Times and CNN in their report today. (I know.)
Aides, the paper said, are scrambling to build a campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement that could come this month.
‘Every day is different,’ one source told CNN.
‘We get told he’s going to announce imminently, and by the afternoon that has changed.’
Most presidential candidates don’t announce their intention to run until the year before the election. Usually by the time of formal announcements, though, it’s pretty clear who will be running in their party’s primary. It wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if Trump decides to run but the timing of an announcement can have some real consequences this time. Republicans are counting on a red wave election cycle in November to hand back power to the party in the House and maybe the Senate. That would essentially make Biden a lame duck president for the rest of his term. If Trump announces before the midterm elections in November, he hands Democrats the opportunity to scare voters, particularly Independents, about another Trump run for president.
Trump is eager to capitalize on Biden’s low poll numbers and also to try and clear the field in the 2024 GOP presidential primary. The January 6 committee hearings may be speeding up the process for Trump.
But his desire to expedite a campaign announcement — ditching previous plans to wait until after the November midterm elections — grew even deeper after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson raised serious questions in a televised congressional hearing this week about Trump’s behavior during the final months of his first term, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Some Trump allies have privately admitted that the House committee’s public hearings have proven more damaging than expected, as congressional investigators continue to air snippets of sworn testimony from current and former Trump advisers undermining his false claims about the 2020 election and raising new questions about his potential legal jeopardy.
The hearings have also clearly weighed on Trump, who spent most of a 90-minute speech to evangelical conservatives last month complaining about them and who has fired off more than a dozen posts to his Truth Social website this week aimed at undermining Hutchinson’s credibility.
In recent days, some of Trump’s advisers have been reaching out to his closest allies to let them know that the former President is seriously considering an earlier-than-expected announcement. One GOP source familiar with those conversations was told that Trump was considering announcing as soon as the first week of July, while others in his orbit cautioned that he does not currently have the infrastructure in place for a major campaign announcement and “doesn’t want this to be a dud,” as a person close to Trump described it.
Team Trump is considering a campaign event and announcement in the battleground state of Michigan.
One thing Trump has continued to do since the last presidential election is to raise money. His PAC has $100M in its coffers. That’s a big consideration when it comes to announcing his candidacy. Campaign finance laws come into play once he announces.
One of the most compelling arguments against an early announcement had been federal campaign finance laws. If and when Mr. Trump announces, he would be ineligible to use any of the $100 million that he has parked in his political action committee to directly support his presidential run. His campaign would also be constrained by a strict $2,900-per-person donation cap for the primaries, meaning he could tap his largest donors only once over the next period of roughly two years to directly fund a candidacy.
But Mr. Trump’s command over small-dollar donors has remained strong, leaving some on his team unconcerned about the fund-raising limits.
It’s impossible to think that Trump’s ego isn’t telling him to stop the movement toward Governor DeSantis by the donor class. Trump is still hugely popular with the party’s base. However, time is not his friend. Voters are ready to start entertaining alternatives to Trump and DeSantis fits the bill. He’s Trump without the baggage. And, he’s young. Trump is 76 years old. It’s time to let the rising stars have a shot. Voters know Trump is up to the challenge of the presidency, if that happens, but voters are growing weary of old candidates on both sides of the aisle. Republicans have a strong bench of younger alternatives. Who do the Democrats have? Besides Joe Biden, they have Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, and so on. Kamala Harris looks young compared to the rest. The Democrat bench is shallow. Republicans need to take advantage of that.
Donald Trump had a successful term as president right up until the coronavirus pandemic. Even then, he managed the creation of the COVID-19 vaccines. We have him to thank for three conservative Supreme Court justices who are returning power back to people via their elected officials instead of the Supreme Court legislating. It will be interesting to see what happens. Will Trump jump in and mix things up before the midterm elections? Maybe he will decide that his role is more of a kingmaker and senior adviser to the party now instead of running for president again. According to these reports, we’ll know soon enough.