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Yes, Trump Is Running, and He's Got a 2-Word Theme

It's 'the steal,' writes Michael Wolff
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2021 8:30 AM CDT
Michael Wolff: Of Course Trump Is Running
Former Donald Trump after speaking at a Turning Point Action gathering Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(Newser) – The big mystery about the 2024 election—whether Donald Trump will run—isn't much of a mystery after all, according to Michael Wolff. It's "obvious" he's running. So writes Wolff, the author of three books on Trump and a Newser co-founder, in a New York Times essay. The author recounts his latest interview with the former president at Mar-a-Lago, including Trump's reaction when Wolff asked him about plans for a presidential library. Trump's face flashed "confusion" and then "anger" because the question presumes his political life is in the past. Trump "snarled" the words "no way" three times, writes Wolff. "It is an existential predicament: He can’t be Donald Trump without a claim on the presidency. He can’t hold the attention and devotion of the Republican Party if he is not both once and future king—and why would he ever give that up?"

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Trump is still very much in the game, and in the interview he seemed to relish the idea of exacting political revenge on those he feels have betrayed him (especially Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell). He also boasted of his prowess in raising money for House candidates through "telerallies," which might very well result in Republicans taking back the chamber next year. Democrats might think all those investigations currently underway against Trump will torpedo any 2024 prospects, but Trump's view is that running for president is the best way to deflect them. "But perhaps most important, there is his classic hucksterism, and his synoptic U.S.P.—unique selling proposition," writes Wolff. "In 2016 it was 'the wall.' For 2022 and 2024 he will have another proposition available: 'the steal,' a rallying cry of rage and simplicity." (Read the full essay.)

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