There is intense speculation over what President Donald Trump would do immediately after he exits the White House on January 20. As a one-term President he will have to grapple with the immediate relegation from the seat of high power to near-certain irrelevance. However, being the maverick and showman that he is, Trump could still plot a scheme to attract as much attention on himself as he did during his presidential years.
Chief among such strategies is the announcement of joining the presidential race in 2024. Trump has not yet technically accepted defeat to Joe Biden in this year's election, making it impossible to announce the 2024 bid. But that can happen any time from now, especially as the Electoral College in the states are meeting today to formally elect Biden as the President.
A vast majority of his supporters genuinely believe Trump must run for president again. Even beyond the MAGA core, this idea has great acceptability among the Republican rank and file in Middle America. They believe that only Trump can take his legacy forward. And many observers also believe that Trump will actually announce a presidential bid in the early days of the Biden presidency. However, there is a section among his inner circle, led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, that believes Trump should take time before plunging into another race.
All things considered, it is safe to assume that Trump will indeed run for President in 2014, or at least announce a bid quite soon, though he might actually pull out at a later point. The following are some reasons why Trump would want to announce a presidential bid.
1. Retain Hopes of a 'Second Act'
Announcing a presidential bid is the best way for Trump to salvage his hurt pride. American politics usually gives no leader a second chance. Joe Biden could be one of the few exceptions. When Al Gore lost to George Bush in 2000 there was intense speculation that he would return in 2004. This did not happen, as the Democrats moved forward. There are many similar examples from the recent and distant past.By announcing a presidential bid now, Trump can hope to buck the trend and stay in the reckoning.
2. Stay Relevant and Be Heard
Trump will find it difficult to grab the eyeballs when the presidential days end. Ex-Presidents usually fade away in American politics. They mostly spend time writing memoirs or doing speech tours but seldom do they interfere in the current day politics. The public do not really expect them to do so. But by becoming a 'future candidate' Trump can haul himself out of that hell hole. He can keep reminding the American populace about the take of Grover Cleveland, the only president in American history to have lost a re-election bid, only to come back four years later to win the presidency again.
3. Validating 'Election Fraud' Claims
Trump has said this election was a fraud and he is sticking to this line this late in the day. If he needs to come off sounding serious, he needs to run again. At least say so now. Unless Trump throws his hat into the ring and says clearly that he's ready to face the verdict once again in 2024, his election fraud arguments will not stand the scrutiny. "I think it's important for Trump to boldly telegraph to the public that this election was a sham, that it can never happen again, and that he will lead the opposition for the next four years, including demanding election reforms," a Trump campaign official told Politico.
4. Help His Businesses, Distract Investigations
As a one-term president, Trump's situation is not enviable at all. He is waiting to be sucked into the bottomless pit of irrelevance once he leaves the White House. However, the announcement of a presidential bid can remarkably turn things around. He wil stay relevant, he will have a justifiable political plank, his voice will be heard. That relevance can even have a ripple effect on his dwindling businesses, where he lost huge sums in recent years. A politically active Trump will be a tougher target for his detractors as well as investigators who might follow up on accusations against him.
5. Core Supporters Want Him to Run
Above all else, the hard core Trump supporters want him to run again, a demand he can hardly turn down. A couple of surveys have shown that the fan base is pretty much intact for Trump and more than 60 percent of them want him to go for the 2024 candidacy. A huge chunk of them believes the election was stolen from Trump. Many more believe that election reform is a well-argued case raised by Trump. He might keep his political persona buoyant if he announces a run. Trumpism will die a quiet death if he slips into oblivion all too soon. The daredevil in Trump might defeat the doubter in him. The lure of uncertain glory may win over the fear of defeat.