Trump Back in Political Limelight; to Address Conservative Gathering in Florida

Former US President Donald will address a major conservatives gathering in Florida on February 28. This will be the first major public appearance of Trump, who lost his White House race in November and stepped down as President on January 20. The former President has been bereft of the massive social media presence ever since he was blocked on Twitter in January.

Ending his forced absence from the public spotlight, Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in Orlando, Florida, Reuters reported citing a source familiar with the matter.

Trump's Political Career

"He'll be talking about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Also look for the 45th President to take on President (Joe) Biden's disastrous amnesty and border policies," the source told the agency.

President Donald Trump

There have been numerous speculations about the direction of Trump's political career. While a major strand of speculations was that he will run for president in 2024, another strong theory suggested he would form a breakaway political party comprising the extreme fringe among the Republicans. There were also talks about Trump promoting the political career of daughter Ivanka Trump, while he would stay away from active politics.

Meanwhile, Trump kept a low profile ahead of the Senate vote on his impeachment, even as there were fissures in the Republican rank and file. With some Republicans in the Senate and Congress ditching him and joining the Democrats, Trump was cautious not to widen the schism by giving vent to his anger. However, when the vote was over and he scraped through in the Senate, avoiding a second impeachment, Trump hit out against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnel, who he deemed was disloyal.

Considerable Support

It remains to be seen what will be said at the CPAC at Orlando on February 28. Some surveys suggested recently that despite the January 6 Capitol fiasco and the consequent political storm that hit Trump negatively, he still commands significant support among the core Republican voters.

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley, the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. (UN/IANS) UN/IANS

The former President's trump card will be his perceived ability to pull voters in the next midterm elections, which are crucial for the Republicans. The GoP has lost both the Senate and Congress, besides the White House. It's extremely crucial for the GoP to regain control of either Congress or Senate in the 2022 elections.

Trump believes that without his support and endorsements, the GoP will not be able to elect more Congressmen and Senators than the Democrats in the next election. While there is simmering anger among the Republicans towards Trump for the direction in which he has taken the party after the 2020 presidential election, his mass appeal and support in rural America is something the Republicans can undermine.

Nikki Haley and Mike Pence

Interestingly, the CPAC speaker list shows that Trump has clearly and decisively distanced himself away from two of his all-time staunchest supporters -- Nikki Haley and former vice-president Mike Pence. While Trump fell out with Pence over the latter's refusal to support his demand to block the certification of Joe Biden as winner by the electoral college, Haley earned Trump's wrath by criticizing him for the January 6 Capitol riots.

Mike Pence
Twitter/Mike Pence

Both are absent from the speakers' list at the CPAC, reports have said. It was earlier reported that Trump had rebuffed Haley's request to have an audience with him after the relations were strained following her comments on the Capitol riots.