Look, folks—I know some of you don’t like when I mention that the Trump campaign is in ‘hail Mary’ territory here on this drive that is the 2020 election, but it’s the truth. Yes, the allegations of voter fraud are numerous, but the legal challenges are not a sure bet. Every legal vote should be counted, but if Trump falls short on both fronts—it’s over. I hate it. Trump sure hates it, but that’s the nature of elections. You cannot win them all. Regardless, I hope for the best and will remain a Trump Republican, but even the president seems to know that there’s a possibility he could lose.
Still, Trumpism isn’t going away. And Donald Trump remains the dominant force in the GOP. The Never Trump wing will never win. They’re too few and most have already become Democrats, so when 2024 rolls around, don’t be shocked if Donald Trump runs again. Grover Cleveland lives! Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) spoke with the president last week, where Trump admitted that losing is a possibility. No matter, he’s just run again in four years, he said to the North Dakota Republican (via Politico) [emphasis mine]:
Kevin Cramer called Donald Trump to convey his support for the president’s efforts to contest the election results when Trump dropped a casual aside that snapped [Cramer] to attention.— j.d. durkin (@jiveDurkey) November 17, 2020
“If this doesn’t work out, I’ll just run again in four years,” Trump said.@politico pic.twitter.com/HS6GZDwUpH
Kevin Cramer called Donald Trump last week to convey his support for the president’s efforts to contest the election results when Trump dropped a casual aside that snapped the North Dakota senator to attention.
“If this doesn’t work out, I’ll just run again in four years,” Trump said.
Cramer could only chuckle at the president musing about the next presidential race while he’s still in office. But to the lineup of Republican hopefuls with their eyes on becoming the GOP’s post-Trump standard bearer, the president’s remark was no laughing matter.
While Trump’s loss was supposed to trigger a Republican Party reset, his flirtation with a 2024 bid ensures he’ll remain the dominant force in the party and cast a shadow over anyone looking to succeed him. Even the possibility of Trump running again will impede other Republicans from laying groundwork for their own bids — lest they upset Trump and his tens of millions of supporters, many of whom are convinced the election was stolen.
Those who’ve worked for Trump — Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley — are in perhaps the toughest spot of all. Each would have to maneuver around the soon-to-be-former president after spending the last four years aligning themselves with him.
But some argue the three would benefit from the president freezing the 2024 field. Pence, Pompeo and Haley have used their roles in the administration to establish national profiles, build donor networks and deepen their ties to conservative activists. In the event Trump eventually decides not to run, they would start out a primary with advantages over others who are further behind organizationally.
Yet, the writing is on the wall here. If Trump fails to secure a second term in 2020, he’ll run again in 2024 and his mere announcement around that time is the end of the 2024 GOP primaries. The man commands the base. Period. Yes, I like Nikki Haley. I think she could be president, sure. But if Trump runs again after all else has failed this cycle—count me in for a 2024 rematch.
The best is yet to come…we may just have to wait four years.