There is a lot of speculation that former President Trump will run again in 2024. A large portion of the Republican base is already on board for Trump’s return to the Oval Office. But there’s a lot of time – and a lot of hurdles – between now and then.
If he ran and won, Trump would be only the second President in history to gain a non-consecutive second term. The first was America’s 22nd and 24th President Grover Cleveland.
Trump has four potential obstacles to a second term. His health would have to hold out. He looks to be in good shape. But he will be 78 years old in four years – and these are years when anything can happen.
The second potential obstacle is the disposition of the number of legal matters he faces. He has several civil and criminal cases on the horizon – although only a couple of them would pose a serious problem. It is possible that a few cases may not be resolved before the next presidential election cycle.
A second attempt would depend on Trump’s personal popularity. He won the first election with less than 50 percent of the vote — and only briefly reached a 50 percent favorable rating in a couple polls. We are yet to see the impact on Trump’s popularity after the Capitol Hill riot.
Finally, there is the question as to whether Trump will actually toss his hat in the ring. No doubt, he would relish a comeback, but it would take a lot of personal commitment and resources. He may be willing to take a pass, especially … especially, if he could pass the baton to another member of the Trump family.
There are three possibilities, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. It would be a big step up for any of the three – but not out of the realm of possibility. Any one of them could create a platform in the 2022 midterm election – but the options are limited.
Donald Jr. lives in New York. Unless Cuomo is forced to resign, the governor’s office is not up until 2024. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is up in 2022. Wouldn’t that be a race to behold? He may be held back by his responsibilities in running the Trump family business – and may have some legal exposure along with his dad.
Ivanka lives in Florida and has already announced that she would not be challenging incumbent Senator Marco Rubio or Governor Ron DeSantis.
That leaves Eric. His wife, Lara, is already pursuing a Senate seat in their adopted home state of North Carolina.
At first blush, an Eric Trump presidential campaign might seem like an impossible longshot – but that is only if you have only viewed Eric through the flak that has surrounded his father. More than any other member of the family, he has the best public image – and is the most articulate and persuasive of the Trump clan – although his positive qualities have not been clearly seen in the background.
Eric is extremely articulate and personable in his public appearances. He makes the most convincing and credible case for his father and for the causes the former President has championed. What he lacks, however, is his father’s pugnacious personality. He is not like his father. And that is to his benefit.
He would likely maintain much of his father’s political base and have a reasonable chance of drawing back a fair number of those who deserted the GOP over a personal disdain for The Donald.
Eric is both the least controversial of the Trump siblings – with the exception of Barron – and has the greatest potential to grow in public stature. He would be a formidable debater against virtually any of the likely 2024 contenders.
In considering Eric, you need to have the eye of a movie director who sees the person not as they appear today but as they would appear in the role – in this case, presidential candidate.
The one thing that can be said with some certainty … no matter how long a longshot he might be, an Eric Trump presidential campaign would not be as long a longshot as was his father when he came down that escalator in 2020.
So, there ‘tis.