Jetting north and east, Donald J. Trump has left the cushy confines of Mar-A-Lago and is circling the Swamp, teasing a triumphant return to the stage. Relocating his base of operations to another DJT stronghold in New Jersey – the Bedminster golf club – the former president and his team are planning to host iconic Trump rallies across the country. And the timing is impeccable as the latest occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue seems to be twisting in the bowl as the water dangerously swirls.
Whether number 45 has inklings of running in 2024 or hopes to boost the popularity of the Republican Party is anyone’s guess. But recreating the excitement and energy of those stadium events is sure to feed the savage beast of party faithful gone astray. Right?
Timing, Ego, or Necessity?
Several Republican officials stood up to denounce their party’s choice for the highest office in the land and joined opposition forces in ousting the man. Oops. GOP voters did not appreciate the disloyalty – and over-expressed superiority – of those elected to make decisions on behalf of the electorate. Anger, apathy, willful disobedience, party censures, committee-ousting, and outright public shaming and booing is the outcome of those election 2020 missteps. The ballot results would have likely been the same had they stayed loyal – but the intraparty treason will not soon be forgotten.
When the wheels on the bus stop going ‘round and ‘round, it’s time to bring in the America First mechanic and grease the axles. How awkward to bow and beg the orange man to help one stay in office. Yet begging they are and, for now, Trump seems to find the predicament serendipitous for all involved.
What better timing than to hit the road and ask America how much they appreciate the current administration? Well-placed soundbites involving the border crisis and how more children than ever are in detention cages and shipping containers at the southern border; Another strategically planted talking point: Why are costs skyrocketing on lumber, paint, household goods, and the like? The list of crises in the first 120 or so days for Mr. Biden is a national disaster. The mere mention of the Colonial pipeline, the price of fuel, and the lack of giving a damn about the latest conflict in the Middle East will play well on the nightly news.
Fright Night for the Left
Trump and the team are whittling down locations for the first of four rallies to be held in June and cogitating on a larger scale Independence Day event for July 3. The Make America Great Again Action Super PAC, run by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, is already fundraising at Bedminster. The money-making arm of the Republican Party is mass emailing teasers for GOP faithful to help select locations combined with the bonus of a quick link to donate to the cause. But unless Trump is serious about seeking the 2024 nomination, why leave the golf course and generate money for candidates that fit the Cheney or Romney polyester suit? And facing facts, some of Trump’s base won’t follow the party unless their man is in the lead – and whether Trump can and will lead the party once again remains the biggest mystery in modern politics.
The next four rallies will be the first such events since the January 6 Capitol debacle and a good time early in the game for Trump to see where he stands. Is the former president testing the waters of popularity or is he simply being a good soldier and wanting the party to succeed in moving forward?
Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. Watch this space.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.