Donald Trump spent the weekend playing golf while he was supposed to be managing a pandemic, complaining about the widespread criticism he’s receiving for playing golf, and complaining that he had to go a couple months without playing golf. Trump had so little interest in yesterday’s Memorial Day ceremonies, he showed up severely late, and made clear with his body language and tone of voice that he didn’t want to be there.
Trump doesn’t want any of this. He doesn’t want to be President anymore. He arguably never did. He certainly never wanted to put in the work required, which is why he’s only ever done the absolute bare minimum that he thought he could get away with. Sure, he likes the power, the control, the ability to bully people, the opportunity to embezzle government money. But Trump clearly does not want to be President.
So why doesn’t he just announce that his first term has been such a tremendous success, he doesn’t need a second term? The short answer is that he can’t. The minute he’s no longer President, he gets indicted and arrested. Even if he manages to weasel himself out of the federal charges, he’s definitely going down on the far more straightforward state charges – which he can’t even try to pardon himself on.
That said, at this point even Trump seems to understand that he’s likely to lose his reelection bid. So why not offer to resign, or not to seek reelection, as part of some kind of plea deal? It’s the only play he has left. Of course it may be too early for that. Trump still has to hold out hope that as the election grows closer, he’ll get lucky and find himself in contention. But if and when that doesn’t happen, is Trump really willing to bet his life on his slim reelection odds? Even if he wins, he sure doesn’t want to be doing this job anymore. It’s a prison sentence for him either way.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report