Will he, or won’t he? Political observers – and more specifically the supporters of former President Donald Trump – have, perhaps, thought about and asked this question more than any other over the past seven or eight months. A new Mark Meadows book released today, Dec. 7, may provide the most concrete answer yet: Yes, Trump has begun preparations to run in 2024 for a second term as president of the United States, according to its author.
Meadows, who served as Trump’s last White House chief of staff, writes in his book The Chief’s Chief, “During our conversation, President Trump said the words that I had been waiting to hear for seven months. ‘We have to be ready,’ he said. ‘We have to do it again for the sake of our great country.’” Washington Examiner reporter Paul Bedard, who writes a Washington Secrets column, was provided with an early copy of the book.
While the establishment leftist media have largely ignored Meadows’ book – in contrast to the whirlwind of publicity generated by the releases of numerous anti-Trump books over the past five years – one claim by the former chief of staff caught the attention of Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers. Three days before the first presidential debate in September 2020, Trump tested positive for COVID-19, Meadows says. Another test “shortly after” showed a negative result, though. In early October 2020, the White House revealed Trump had contracted the virus, and he was briefly hospitalized. The former president claimed Meadows’ story about the positive test prior to the debate was “fake news.”
The Big Reveal?
Of course, all this is a mere distraction from the book’s big reveal. “When President Trump said we had to ‘do it again,’ he was not simply stating some abstract idea,” Meadows writes. “The message was clear: We had to prepare for the second term that had been denied him.”
Several media reports suggest Trump hates this new book. That may or may not be true, but parts of it read like a Trump 2024 campaign email:
“We needed four more years. That’s four more years to reverse the damage that Biden had managed to inflict on our country in just seven short months; four more years to truly drain the swamp; four more years to remind America that our country is truly great, no matter what anyone on the left has to say about it.”
It is entirely likely, of course, that Trump is not happy with this new book because it does concede mistakes were made at the White House during his presidency. Meadows claims Trump acknowledges some bad choices when it came to political appointees who then worked to undercut the America First agenda. One could argue that the 45th president’s greatest weakness was taking some bad advice when it came to staffing and Cabinet officials. The history of Trump’s time in the White House is punctuated by a string of West Wing and administration personnel disasters, and so it’s likely Trump, who is not known for his humility, isn’t too thrilled that Meadows has aired these mistakes.
Still, if Trump really is preparing the ground for a second presidential campaign, bad judgment calls on matters of staffing are important lessons to learn – and not repeat. Overall, Trump remains a favorite among conservatives and Republican voters for the GOP’s 2024 nomination. One can only imagine the frenzy an official declaration will spark. As Meadows writes, “I’m sure that in the months to come, there will be ‘Draft Trump’ movements, large rallies, and boat parades that would make the naval fleets of some countries seem small by comparison.”
It’s fair to speculate, at this point, that if Trump were to publicly abandon thoughts of a 2024 run, the disappointment among his supporters could be enough to dampen enthusiasm among Republican voters to a precarious degree. Can the creator and leader of the Make America Great Again movement afford to say no at this point? Maybe the real question is against whom he would he find himself running the next time around.
~ Read more from Graham J. Noble.