President Trump and his supporters are making noises about a run in 2024, but John F. Harris predicts in a column at Politico that it's not going to happen. In fact, he thinks Trump's influence will fade pretty quickly once he's out of office. "Outsized outsiders don't have staying power," he writes, drawing a comparison between Trump and the likes of Ross Perot, Joe McCarthy, and George Wallace. Yes, Trump is singular because he achieved the presidency, but all these men rose to prominence thanks to "flamboyant, self-dramatizing personas." These types of movements are rather common in American politics, but they always fade, and "Trump has offered no reason to suppose he will be an exception."
Harris has two other reasons behind his skepticism. For one, Trump may have once pushed topics such as immigration, trade, and globalization, but now he seems to be pushing only one issue—himself. "These days, no one can follow Trump's Twitter feed and believe that he cares more about the public's problems than his own, and that is not a recipe for sustaining political power," writes Harris. And finally, Harris writes that Trump's inability to moderate his blunt, "blame-casting" strategy is a fatal political flaw. Had Trump been able to do so during the pandemic, he would probably be getting ready for his second inauguration, writes Harris. Read his full column, in which he says potential Trump rivals won't have to confront the former president, but rather "transcend" him, in the runup to the next election. (Read more President Trump stories.)