Multiple people around Donald Trump are now publicly insisting that he’ll enter the 2024 presidential race within days. My response: good, go ahead, make my day. No really, bring it on.
Here’s the thing. No one actually enters the 2024 election in the year 2021. If Trump announces a “campaign” this far out, it’ll only be because his ego needs the headlines, his wallet needs the money, and he needs a distraction from his worsening legal situation in New York – which now reportedly includes the cooperating testimony of Matthew Calamari Jr.
Functionally, beyond holding a few idiotic rallies that he’s already been holding anyway, Donald Trump wouldn’t actually be running for anything by announcing a 2024 campaign in 2021. But here’s what would happen. It would convince Trump’s base that he’s going to be the 2024 Republican nominee. They’d come to accept nothing less. And by the time Trump is indicted in New York, or passes away from his visibly worsening physical health, or becomes more senile and can no longer leave the house, his supporters are going to see it as a bait and switch when they get stuck with some other Republican as their 2024 nominee.
Not only will Trump gain little to nothing by “entering” the 2024 race right now (other than in the wallet), he’ll end up hurting the Republicans’ prospects in 2024. Of course Trump doesn’t care about how much he hurts the GOP when it comes to pursuing his own selfish goals, as we’ve seen time and again.
The only potential downside to Trump launching a fake 2024 campaign in 2021 is that the mainstream media might be tempted to chase ratings and page views by pretending his fake campaign is real. Then again, if the media sees that it can’t hold your attention by trying to scare you with the specter of a magical Trump comeback, it’ll then have to admit that his “campaign” isn’t real and move on.
We’d all prefer that Donald Trump would just go away and never come back. But if he wants to insist on launching a fake 2024 presidential campaign this month, then by all means, please proceed. It’ll force the Republican Party to even more slavishly cater to his demands at the expense of its own viability, and when Trump inevitably “exits” the race because he was never really in it to begin with, it’ll leave the Republicans holding the bag.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report