How Scared Should We Be of Trump Running For President in 2024?

Could it possibly be a good thing?

Will Leitch

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If you are the sort of person who thinks, “you know, I really miss the white-knuckling end-of-days terror of a Presidential election season,” well, you might just be in luck: 2024’s Presidential election may be starting much earlier than usual. Over the weekend, several reports surfaced that former President Donald Trump is considering announcing his candidacy for 2024 as early as this summer. This is unusually early, even in this day and age: Trump famously announced his 2016 candidacy, coming down that infamous escalator, on June 16, 2015, almost a full year later in the cycle than he would be announcing this time. (For his part, Joe Biden announced in April 2019.)

What’s most interesting about Trump making his announcement is that he’d be doing it from a position of weakness rather than strength. From CNN:

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.

Trump appears to recognize not just that the January 6 Commission is hurting him, but that the notion of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis potentially being the heir apparent — and Fox News pushing hard for this happen — is gaining more and more acceptance. DeSantis is still running second to Trump in early 2024 Republican polls, but the gap is narrowing, and if you watch Fox News at all, you can see them laying the groundwork for DeSantis as the “Trumpism without Trump” candidate. (Ask your uncle or elderly parent who has Fox News on in the bathroom: They suddenly are getting very DeSantis-curious.) Trump announcing for President early — absurdly early — would be a way to turn the entire race back into the thing the dichotomy he wants…

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Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com