President Donald Trump apparently intends to disrupt his successor’s presidency from the git-go.
The Daily Beast reported late last week that Trump could announce another bid for the presidency in 2024 at a campaign event during inauguration week, maybe even directly opposite Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.
This counter-programming plan is conditioned on the failure of Trump’s ongoing efforts to reverse the election’s outcome in court.
Those efforts, like all his other baseless claims about the election, will fail.
Trump may never concede the point, but Biden won the election at the ballot box. Trump’s only chance to return to the White House will be with another run.
To succeed, he’d need to maintain the inexplicable grip he has had on the Republican Party and his faithful followers. Trump figures this early announcement of a 2024 candidacy would keep him in the public limelight and hold the Republicans, especially any who might challenge him, under his control.
That actually could happen if the Republicans who still claim the label show no more independence from Trump than they have in the four years of his presidency.
Chances are a few with presidential ambitions of their own will eventually pull away from Trump.
Early on, however, even some presidential wannabes seem to be giving Trump his way. Witness last week’s reported response from National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien when he, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked about a 2024 bid by Trump. “If you do that — and I think I speak for everybody in the room — we’re with you 100 percent,” O’Brien reportedly told Trump, although all three of those men are thought to be presidential hopefuls.
Trump believes renomination is his for the taking.
Never mind that a majority of American voters demonstrated at the polls that they’re done with Trump.
No fewer than 80 million American voters voted for Biden in last month’s record-setting election, when Trump trailed with less than 74 million votes.
But neither Trump nor most of the Republican leadership will concede the loss.
That’s why, a month out from the vote, we see a defeated Trump unsuccessfully playing out his hand in the nation’s courts, still trying to reverse the election’s result.
And now comes Trump’s reported ploy to launch a 2024 campaign even as Biden is about to become president.
It’s the same kind of counter programming Trump did during the election. Remember all the pop-up rallies he held to steal Democrats’ thunder? Or the televised debate he refused to participate in, then scheduled an on-air interview opposite a Biden interview that aired in place of the debate?
Trump could just ignore his rival’s inauguration. He wouldn’t be the first president not to show for his successor’s swearing-in. Instead, Trump’s is seriously thinking about making a splashy 2024 campaign launch.
Meanwhile, in these few weeks leading up to the Jan. 20 inauguration, Trump and his team are doing all they can to make it more difficult for Biden to govern, particularly when it comes to reversing Trump policy.
That, too, is part of the sitting president’s disruption of Biden’s coming presidency.
Fair warning: Expect much more of the same from Trump and his cohorts as he departs the White House and starts to define his sure-to-be-self-obsessed post-presidency.
Brenda Blagg is a freelance columnist and longtime journalist in Northwest Arkansas. Email her at [email protected] .