By Duncan Smith
Will Donald Trump run for president again in 2024 or not?
Most of Trump’s supporters are certainly hoping that he does.
But one columnist at the Washington Times who served with the former president in his administration doesn’t think so.
Too many factors working against the aging president who is no longer prevalent in social media.
Granted, things could change. But Michael McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, a lobbying firm, who served as a deputy assistant to Trump as well as deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House, does not believe that.
It turns out that it is difficult to run a political movement as a private citizen from Mar-a-Lago. For example, in the 6th Congressional District race in Texas, the president endorsed eventual front-runner Susan Wright very late — in part because there were numerous contenders in the Trump primary and he or his crew was afraid of picking the 'wrong' candidate (i.e., one who wound up losing). The same mechanics were at play in the statewide Virginia Republican nomination process this month.
They will be in play in places as different as Ohio, where the race to replace Republican Sen. Rob Portman will no doubt include a handful of candidates close to the former president, and New York's gubernatorial race. The New York race in particular is a good example of how political movements sometimes splinter as they grow. Lee Zeldin is without a doubt the best candidate the Republicans could put forward in the race for governor, but Team Trump has residual and irrational attachments to the Giuliani family, so they will probably dither about whom to support.
'In short, the world is moving along and politicians are doing what they do (stealing ideas that work), and Mr. Trump's ability to clear a primary field — let alone anoint a general election winner — is compromised precisely because there are multiple candidates vying for his imprimatur,' McKenna notes further.
But it’s not all bad for Trump supporters (and the country).
Mr. Trump changed many things for Republicans. Most were for the good — clarity with respect to America first foreign and trade policies; a solid preference (at least rhetorically) for working people; an expansion of the sacred cows that could be critiqued and slaughtered; and an expansion of the party's sense of the possible. He also, finally, mercifully, closed the book on the hagiography of President Reagan.
In many ways he midwifed a new Republican Party. The real challenge now is to figure out how to grow and build what he helped create through the next generation. The person who solves that will be the next Republican president.
Trump has set the standard for current and future GOP candidates after proving to them conservative ideals and small 'r' republicanism make America safer, stronger, and more prosperous. And the vast majority of Republican voters aren't going to accept candidates who offer anything less. And that’s what we will need if we even hope to salvage our country.
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