Yesterday Donald Trump announced that he's a candidate for president in 2024, a full two years before the election.
I can't stand Trump. But I'm pleased that he's running for the Republican nomination again. It'll be easy for me to explain why.
I just hope that after the 2024 presidential election I don't take a look at this post and think, Brian, how could you have been so stupid?
Wouldn't be the first time I've had that thought, of course. I think and do stupid stuff all the time.
However, it's one thing to make a personal mistake, and a whole other thing to be mistaken about the future of our democracy -- which clearly would be threatened if Trump has another four years to complete his authoritarian agenda.
Before the midterms I was much more worried about Trump than I am now.
The big question is whether the failure of Trump's Big Lie candidates in swing states -- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada -- is a sign that his appeal to voters has stopped working like it did in 2016, or whether Trump is capable of reinventing himself.
My guess is that Trump's popularity is on a downward trend that might reverse itself a bit, yet not enough to get him elected in 2024. Or maybe even nominated by the GOP as their presidential candidate.
What gives me pause, though, is that I was thrilled in 2016 when it became clear that Trump was the Republican nominee. I was confident that this would guarantee a win for Hillary Clinton.
After all, how could the American people elect someone as unqualified to be president as Donald Trump? Turned out, of course, that they certainly could.
Naturally I could be wrong about Trump this time also. But 2016 is way different than 2022. Now voters know all about Trump's many weaknesses and his Big Lie schtick is wearing thin even among his avid supporters.
Yet Trump still has a good chance of winning the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, especially if it's a crowded field, as in 2016. His base of GOP support is substantial. But I'm confident that the Democratic nominee would beat Trump, given Biden's victory in 2020 and how well Democrats did in the recent midterm election.
If Trump doesn't win the nomination, this will probably deeply irk most of his base, even, or especially, if Ron DeSantis is the nominee. DeSantis strikes me as too Trump-like in his hateful attitude toward immigrants, gays, teachers, and others to appeal to a broad swath of the national electorate.
I was worrying that Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor, could be DeSantis' vice-president pick, or Trump's pick, since her lengthy background as a TV news anchor makes her skilled at communicating to voters.
But now that Lake has lost to Katie Hobbs, that worry is much reduced.
All in all, I'm feeling good about Democrats holding on to the presidency in 2024. I think Biden could win, though like most Democrats, I'd prefer that someone else be my party's nominee.