There’s a reason everyone from Mike Pence to Mike Pompeo to Ted Cruz is lining up potential 2024 campaigns. They know Donald Trump will be in a cage before we even get to 2024. And they know Ron DeSantis is the kind of overconfident idiot who may self destruct before 2024.
These also-ran candidates are all just biding their time, knowing with certainty that Trump will take a fall, and hoping that DeSantis will do the same. It’s not that Pence, who’s hated by most people on both sides, or Pompeo, who’s hated by the relatively few people who know he exists, or Cruz, who’s hated by literally everyone, has any chance even if Trump and DeSantis are out of the way. But hope springs eternal.
In fact these types of also-ran candidates aren’t necessarily even trying to win. When Ted Cruz ran in 2016, even though he was mathematically closer to catching Trump than most people remember, he still refused to try to broaden his appeal in states like New York, where he desperately needed the electoral votes. He seemed to be too afraid of ruining his “I hate liberal elites” brand, which is the only reason right wingers in Texas – who find Cruz as creepy as we do – keep electing him to the Senate.
And it couldn’t be much more obvious that Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo, who both have personalities made of cardboard, are running in 2024 so they can lose, drop out, and then use their failed campaigns to land million dollar book deals. Pence and Pompeo both know that if they give the media enough leaks and exclusives during their campaigns, they can call in those favors afterward to land promotional interview slots for their book launches. Yes, the entire presidential campaign system needs to be forcibly reformed.
But the bottom line is this. The vultures are circling already. Donald Trump’s 2024 “campaign” is DOA. And Ron DeSantis is simply too unhinged to shut up and take the 2024 nomination that Republican donors are so desperately trying to hand him. There’s a reason the also-ran Republican candidates are openly salivating over 2024. They expect the Republican primary to be wide open for whatever kinds of games they want to play.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report