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Donald Trump 2024?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

The 2022 Midterm elections are fast approaching in November, and the Republicans are poised to re-take both the House and Senate. President Biden's approval rating has been abysmal among soaring gas prices, inflation, and unpopular funding of Ukrainian aid. Lurking in the background, waiting for the right time to emerge from his golf cart, is former President Donald Trump. Still able to amass large loyal crowds at rallies, and often flexing his kingmaking abilities with local Republican candidates, the path seems clear for him to make a triumphant return. Many might argue that his candidacy has been tainted by his consistent election fraud claims yet his base is more loyal than ever. Even with Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home, being raided by the FBI via search warrant - his supporters won't even concede the possibility that there was wrongdoing by the former president. So - is Trump 2024 going to happen? Or will he step aside and let a young Trump-esque prodigy rise to the occasion?


Since his loss in 2020, Trump has been vocal about the stolen election that gave Joe Biden the presidency. Despite 60 cases lost in Federal courts - presided over by judges he himself appointed - Trump and his closest confidants have remained determined to claim election fraud. My Pillow CEO and MAGA fan Mike Lindell has repeatedly claimed he has evidence of hacked voting machines, but fails to produce anything when given the opportunity to present. Dinesh D'Souza's documentary "2000 Mules" claims to showcase hard evidence of voter fraud but has been largely disputed among several experts across the partisan spectrum.


Was the election stolen? No, but I continue to welcome those who claim to have evidence to present their findings and be proven right or wrong. Either this is one of the largest conspiracies in modern history OR Trump and his allies are so desperate and child-like that losing is incomprehensible.


Unsurprisingly to me, Trump's fame and allure has barely waned. Some actively serving members of the GOP may have distanced themselves from the former president, but they've never condemned or wrote him off.


I suspect if he is the nominee to rematch Joe Biden, 90%+ of the party will fall in line and defend him at all costs.


THE LEGACY OF THE DONALD

Mean tweets, inappropriate comments, adultery, etc. Yes, Donald Trump will be long remembered for his bombastic, un-presidential nature. But his legacy as a President rests in his courageous attempt to upend Washington DC. Love him or hate him, Trump made heads spin and blew up the workflow. Congress' approval rating has been low for years, and Trump used this to his advantage.


Not only did he oversee the best American economy in years (pre-COVID), but he also:

  • Passed the Right to Try Act revolutionizing end of life treatment for those suffering, giving terminally ill patients access to lifesaving cures

  • Signed two executive orders to increase transparency in Federal agencies

  • Tackled the administrative state and signed orders to deregulate, and lessen the burden of government agencies on the American people

  • Negotiated with NATO partners to reach financial obligations

  • Brokered a groundbreaking peace agreement between Israel and Palestine - marking the first time Israel has agreed to a map and a Palestinian state.

  • Killed the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani.

Sounds like I'm praising him doesn't it? Well - for these accomplishments, I am. I can both criticize his bad ideas and flawed character while at the same time applauding good outcomes of his presidency.


His actions on January 6th were irresponsible, his rhetoric surrounding the election has been abhorrent, and his bombastic nature on twitter and at rallies is beneath the office - BUT the positive things from his presidency should still be recognized and improved upon.


Pending on how the Mar-a-Lago seized documents play out, Trump's legacy will be one of chaos and conspiracy amid a battle with mainstream media and social media. The establishment's reaction to Trump and his ways may be the real historical lesson here.


FBI RAIDS MAR-A-LAGO

As of today, we still have more questions than answers as to why the Department of Justice went as far as issuing a search warrant for a former president's private home. The warrant released to the public shows the FBI seized several miscellaneous materials marked as Top Secret, Secret, Confidential, and Top Secret/SCI. The timeline of how and when the Justice Department and National Archives was working with Trump's legal team is quite unclear to me - but regardless, if Trump was housing high side documents - that is a no no.


Here's the thing. The warrant was granted, which seems pretty indicative of a “there” there. I feel like there’s no way they’d issue a search warrant on a former president without having every duck in a row. That would be a massive misstep to just grant a willy-nilly politically charged witch hunt without CONCRETE evidence. For a federal court to approve? You need a massive reason. Maybe we’ll find out, but the affidavit remains sealed and likely won't be fully showcased due to the sensitive nature of the documents.


OR could this be one of the largest conspiracies in US history to get rid of Trump?


The DOJ needs to pull in a bipartisan committee and brief them on EVERY detail, and allow them to brief a redacted version to the US, and her citizens. This cannot just sit behind closed doors and fester.


Many have been quick to call double standard, especially with Trump being the likely political opponent of the current administration in 2024. Where was the FBI's voracity for Hillary Clinton's unsecure email server and deleted emails? Where has the FBI been on investigating Hunter Biden and his now confirmed laptop contents? Where is the fervor in going after those on Ghislaine Maxwell's client list?


Certainly its possible to hold both them AND Trump accountable, because party shouldn't matter. Perhaps there are acceptable explanations for how different investigations play out, but the DOJ needs to better communicate its decision making to Congress. Congress then needs to report to its boss: We the People.


What happens if Donald Trump is charged, or arrested? Will he suspend a campaign attempt or will he use it like a martyr and cause more of a stir? OR will the DOJ refrain from issuing charges in fear of the political fallout?


Lets not forget that the Clinton email situation was investigated by Comey, and recommendations for charges were presented to the DOJ. Newly elected President Trump declined to pursue out of fear that those actions would further divide the nation.


2024 CAMPAIGN?

None of the following indicates any semblance of support or endorsement.


Will he formally announce a run before or after the midterms this November? Or will he wait for a more definitive path from the DOJ's investigation of him and documents kept at Mar-a-Lago? Either way, I personally think a Trump 2024 run is inevitable... but will the GOP fall in line or allow for a proper primary?


Lets war game this out with the assumption Biden is running as the incumbent:

  • IF TRUMP RUNS

If he announces his candidacy, I personally think this goes two ways.

  1. Trump runs uncontested with the full backing of the GOP

  2. Trump gets primaried by Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, or another unnamed Republican Candidate.

I lean more towards option A in this event. Everyone who loves DeSantis love Trump first. They won't bow to someone else if Trump himself is in the running.


OUTCOME?

I think its a massive victory for Trump. Biden and Kamala are far too unpopular to win reelection against someone as fearless and bombastic as Trump. Trump is synonymous with "better economy", and at the end of the day that's all that voters care about.

  • IF TRUMP DOESN'T RUN

Whether it be due to insurmountable legal issues or the lack of will from the GOP, Trump not running is still a possibility. There are a couple paths:

  1. DeSantis is the clear favorite and he runs virtually unopposed. Maybe Ted Cruz or other Republicans throw their hats in the ring with the absence of Trump - but its DeSantis' race to lose.

  2. DeSantis throws a curveball and doesn't run, paving the way for other GOP darlings like Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, or even Donald Trump Jr. Its anyone's race then.

I think DeSantis has positioned himself too perfectly to not be the nominee, and is probably the GOP's best shot at beating Biden. The real contest would be him vs. Trump - but I'm confident it will be either or.


OUTCOME?

Depending on how the GOP votes, I think its still their election to lose. Biden's unpopularity plays right into their hand. They could put up anyone and it would be an uphill battle for Biden and Harris.

  • WHAT IF BIDEN DROPS HARRIS

This scenario is the most interesting one to me. VP Kamala Harris has been roasted over her ineloquent speeches and absence from the border and public settings. Her unpopularity and disgruntled staff has plagued the White House. If I were Biden? I'd replace her, and pin lots of the political blame on her for their administration being dysfunctional.


But the question is who would be a good enough running mate to save his butt in 2024? Here are my top few who I think could encourage more independents or progressives to keep Biden in power:

  1. Pete Buttigieg - young, smart, moderate, measured, and checks some new diversity boxes. Pete is a rising star and often the most eloquent man in the room. I think the Democratic Party needs to lean on his energy, and age.

  2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - young, progressive, and a favorite among young leftists. She could bring a focus on climate change, student loans, and election reform focus to the White House. Essentially a younger and less angry Bernie Sanders.

  3. Stacey Abrams - one of the newer darlings of the Democratic party, Abrams has been super popular in her fight for equality and election integrity in Georgia. She, like AOC, is a favorite of progressives and could energize the Democratic base.


LONG STORY SHORT...

It will be entertaining to say the least. Trump's current troubles - whether they be a conspiracy to drown him or not - could plague any attempt he makes at running. And the more time that goes on, the more it seems that the GOP is trying to move on from the baggage that comes with Donald Trump. Mar-a-Lago will be a massive piece to all of this, as will the Republican performance in November's midterms.


He'll run as a "savior", which will include overpromising things and inevitably underdelivering. But most just want Biden gone, which means yet again we'll experience an election where both options make us groan.


The other big puzzle to this piece is who running mates would be for Trump or another candidate. Could Trump pick DeSantis as his VP and run a powerhouse team?


What do you think? Regardless of your thoughts on Biden, should the GOP back another Trump run or is the strategic play to go with someone more measured and eloquent like DeSantis or Cruz? I personally am quite tired of Trump this and Trump that, and perhaps the social fabric needs a tamer GOP official than one who goes on social media to make fun of people's looks.



 

New Episode Available!




Listen to my discussion with fellow Officer Candidate School graduates as we reminisce about our time down in Alabama.


I'm convinced this will be one of many discussions in this lane!

Listen on all podcast platforms and at www.thecoganconvo.com

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