Thursday, April 29, 2021


As we approach Joe Biden's hundredth day as president, we're being asked to read about ... Donald Trump's first hundred days as ex-president. Politico has a feature story. CNN has even longer and more flattering feature story.

But why? Trump isn't doing rallies. He hasn't found a way to get attention the way he did when millions of people awaited every tweet with eager anticipation or dread. And he's not president. Nothing he does has an impact on ordinary Americans.

He's easy to ignore, but we're supposed to believe he's still very, very important.

CNN's Gabby Orr writes:
Far from a conventional post-White House retirement, Trump's first 100 days out of office illustrate a man who has preferred plotting the next chapter of his political career to planning his presidential library, recruiting MAGA-aligned Republican primary challengers to writing a post-presidential memoir. Whereas his predecessors disengaged from politics for months after leaving office, Trump has turned the same political warfare that defined his presidency into a full-time retirement hobby as he weighs a full return to the spotlight with a potential comeback presidential bid in 2024.
But apart from the occasional Fox interview, he's doing next to nothing to engage ordinary Americans in 2021.

He could have. He could've kvetched publicly on a daily basis about everything Joe Biden and congressional Democrats are doing. He could have set up a blog. He could have been on Fox News every day. (I'm sure Fox would be delighted to have the ratings.) He could have been a regular talk radio guest -- or a talk radio host. But he's communicating with the base only intermittently, and the rest of us not at all, while focusing most of his energy on revenge.
More than a dozen Trump aides, confidants and allies who spoke with CNN -- many of whom were granted anonymity to candidly discuss his post-presidency -- say the former President, who remains bitter about his defeat in the 2020 election, has nevertheless come to enjoy his status as a GOP kingmaker, relishing his ability to disrupt races or elevate pro-Trump figures against dissenters inside the party.
His world has shrunk so much that it's as if his Democratic enemies don;t even exist for him. He's not making much effort to defeat Adam Schiff or Eric Swalwell. He's trying to defeat Republicans.
By mid-February, Trump -- convinced by aides and Republican party leaders that 2022 should be his immediate focus and still interested in exacting revenge against GOP incumbents who had voted to impeach him or dismissed his election fraud charade -- began discussing candidate endorsements with his team.

The former President already had a laundry list of prospective primary challengers lined up to take on his foes inside the party. But privately, he was working the phones to recruit more.

In Georgia, he encouraged GOP Rep. Jody Hice to launch a bid to unseat Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who repeatedly rejected Trump's baseless claims of rampant voter fraud in the state....

Aides say Trump is still on the hunt for a primary recruit in Georgia's 2022 gubernatorial race due to his dissatisfaction with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp's handling of the 2020 results in his state.

They note he is also vetting challengers to Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the only Senate Republican facing reelection next fall who voted to convict him after his second impeachment trial earlier this year. He has plans to target the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him and are hoping to hang on to their seats in the upcoming midterm elections, as well.
This is all he does. This is all he cares about. Just based on his MAGA following, he could get boffo TV ratings. He could fill arenas as a speaker. He could be a formidable gadfly -- but instead, he's trying to drive members of his own party out of office so, presunmably, they can be replaced by other members of his own party. He was a political star and now he's just a backroom hack, except he's a backroom hack who's also Captain Ahab, unhealthily obsessed with vengeance.

Maybe he'll go back on the road -- Orr says he might start doing rallies again next month. But for now, he's just a sad, angry man who used to be famous.

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