BY YASHWANT RAJ
Washington– Former US President Donald Trump could announce his third bid for the White House in 2024 as early as September.
Trump has been contemplating an early announcement, according to early US media reports. The Washington Post reported Thursday that it could be in just a few weeks from now in September, even before the midterm elections due in November.
Trump has neither confirmed nor denied the report.
“Well, in my own mind, I’ve already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore. In my own mind, I’ve already made that decision,” Trump said in an interview to the New York Magazine. But, leaving himself wiggle room, he added, “Look,” Trump said, “I feel very confident that, if I decide to run, I’ll win.”
Trump remains the overwhelming favorite of Republicans voters for the party’s nomination to run for the White House in 2024. A poll published by The New York Times on Tuesday showed that he leads his top five rivals for the nomination – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Ted Cruz, Pence, former Governor Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in that order according to their poll numbers.
The former President has stayed in politics and played a leadership role in the Republican party after leaving office, much unlike all other previous Presidents, who retired quietly after their one-term or two-term stints. He has continued to meet party leaders and officials, address rallies, endorse candidates for the primaries and plotted the downfall of critics and opponents.
Talk about his third run has gathered steam in recent weeks as other Republicans began girding up for their own runs such as former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor DeSantis. There are also indications that Trump’s vice-like grip on his party base may be loosening, exacerbated, perhaps, by the high-profile public hearings being conducted by the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol, home to American congress.
The January 6 hearings, which will conclude next week, have shown that the insurrection was not an impulsive action, but a planned assault to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential elections. And many in Trump’s inner circles, including the former President himself, have a very sense of what was to happen.
Additionally, the Department of Justice appears has raided Trump aides who had participated in his attempts to overthrow the election result, raising the possibility of the former President being in the crosshairs himself, though there are no indications of his criminal culpability.
Trump could preempt any impending action against him if he was in the race for the White House. He could seek to portray it as a political witch hunt by the administration of the President he is running to unseat in 2024.
Most worrying perhaps for him is his shrinking support among Republicans. Though he leads the table of possible rivals for the party’s nomination in a presidential primary contests, a clear majority of primary voters under 35 years old – 64 per cent – as well as 65 per cnt of those with at least a college degree – a leading indicator of political preferences inside the donor class – have said they would vote against Trump in a presidential primary, The New York Times said. There is also a growing anyone-but-Trump thinking among Republicans, with 16 per cent of primary voters saying if Trump was running they will vote either Biden or a third-party nominee.
Most Republicans – at 76 per cent – said they were fine with his post-election efforts saying “He was just exercising his right to contest the election” while 19 per cent, however, were appalled and said, “He went so far that he threatened American democracy.”
Trump has still not publicly admitted defeat in the 2020 election — though privately he has acknowledged it, according to aides — and without any basis or evidence, he has continued to claim he lost because the election was stolen from him and has raised millions of dollars peddling his lies to his supporters. (IANS)