Sunday, January 10, 2021


Which of these sounds more plausible to you? Here's Politico:
In interviews, more than half a dozen Republicans who had supported or worked for Trump say the president isn’t likely to run again, though he may tease it. If Trump changes his mind again and chooses to run, some said they would urge him not to, while others hope he’d be talked out of it.

“I think nothing is going to happen,” said a Trump friend. “He won’t be around in 2024. He’s not going to run. He’s going to fuck around and say he’s going to run. ... He’ll tease. I don’t think he’s ever going to say ‘I won’t run.’ He just won’t run." ...

Some Republicans — including those who had defended Trump through controversy after controversy for four chaotic years — had thought with near certainty that Trump would be their standard bearer after he left office, even though he never had much allegiance to the GOP. Not anymore.

“He is not the leader of any Republican Party I recognize,” said Scott Jennings, who worked for President George W. Bush and is close to the Trump White House.

A former Trump aide said the president now “needs to be ostracized and excommunicated from the Republican Party.”

...The president’s allies say he had cooled to formally announcing his candidacy for 2024 because running again would require that he disclose financial information, according to two Republicans close to Trump.

... Trump is expected to keep teasing a presidential run — without actually filing the paperwork or erecting a campaign — to garner the attention he seeks.

“He may not ultimately pull the trigger,” said a former Trump aide who remains close to the White House.
And now here's Bloomberg:
... President Donald Trump and a dwindling circle of advisers plan a defiant final week in office, according to people familiar with the matter....

One adviser called Democratic consideration of impeachment a political gift to Trump....

Trump plans to run out the clock on his four years in office by highlighting what he believes are his biggest accomplishments, including the barrier his administration built on at least part of the U.S. border with Mexico. A trip to Alamo, Texas, near the border is expected on Tuesday, a White House spokesman said.

Trump is also preparing at least one more round of pardons, and will try a final time to advance his administration’s effort to bring Big Tech to heel, the people said....

Between the impeachment movement and Trump’s censorship by social media, the president and his advisers believe his supporters are galvanized. Trump feels impeachment could have a boomerang effect on Democrats, one person said, while another dismissed it as the latest Democratic witch hunt....

Trump and his team will respond to the Twitter ban during his final week in office by leaning into his fight against what he’s called censorship of Republicans by large technology companies.
These two narratives don't necessarily contradict each other, but the first one depicts a defanged Trump who's run out of resources and allies and the second one depicts, well, the Trump we all know -- a tireless, manic vengeance-obsessive who has a massive fan bas and who apparently won't stop demanding that we respect his authoriteh until he's dead and buried. If he's really ready to end his political career in ten days, why is he concerned about his standing relative to the Democrats?

I think he believes he can turn this around and get back in the game soon, even if it's just to grift and play kingmaker. And I think he may be right.

I'm worried that this is yet another moment when we think Trump has finally gone too far, and he hasn't. I know that many Republicans say they want nothing to do with him now. But I bet his poll numbers will barely dip below 40, if they even drop that low. I don't believe he'll be convicted if he's impeached. I don't believe his base will abandon him (or embrace anyone who has harsh words for him now). And I still maintain that he'll dodge accountability in court in the next few years.

I don't think we're rid of Trump yet.

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