Donald Trump had floated the idea of involving himself in politics for quite some time. In fact, in 2000 he ran as a member of the Reform Party, but that didn’t garner much attention due to his lack of success and the controversial nature of that year’s cycle. The news was already full of what to talk about with electoral college, supreme court, and popular vote controversy.
But he did run, nonetheless, and like most candidates who run, he released a campaign book outlining his policy positions and legislative opinions.
In the book, titled The America We Deserve, Trump says, inter alia, that if he were to win the presidency he would not be interested in more than one term. To me, it seemed as though Trump was hedging his bets. He said that so that if he had a bad term he could not run for re-election and say it had nothing to do with his lack of success. Rather, he said that he was never interested in a second term and would do what he could to sell his one term presidency as a good one. Which is especially feasible given that Trump does do a good job of selling political themes.
Now, let’s be clear, it would be naïve to think that the President doesn’t have 10-20 individuals heading into Trump Tower every single day planning the re-election campaign. They are more likely than not already polling, strategizing, and game planning.
They are there to form the infrastructure and put it in place so that if Trump does decide to run he doesn’t have to build a team on a whim. But just because they are likely operating right now doesn’t mean he is going to follow through on the run.
In a recent article published by Politico Christino Lima reported that Trump has stated that he thought being president would be “easier” and that it is more difficult than“his previous life”
Now, that is understandable. It is impossible to understand the difficulties of the presidency until you are sitting in that seat. But the comments do make it seem as though Trump is not appreciating the process thus far. It appears that Trump enjoys being president, and the glory that associated with it, more than he actually enjoys governing. This makes sense given his famous ego and his constant desire to check another box off his list of accomplishments. Despite that, he would never resign because that would be an admission that it was too difficult and that same ego would never allow it.
With him being able to say he was, for four years, the most powerful man in the word he can go back to his luxuries life style without any higher ambitions possible.
In other words, he can retire, like a man of his age probably should. Which is another indicator that he is unlikely to run because who knows what his state of health will be after four stressful years.
Trump will probably run, if he personally believes – I doubt the opinions of his advisers will matter much – that he can win handedly. And, historically, he has pretty good intuition about that kind of thing. But given the start of his administration, and with no sign of things getting better, it appears that an easy victory is not what is in the cards for him. Especially since there is no one in the entire party that the Democrats can put up who is a worse candidate than Hillary Clinton.
So off into the sunset Trump will ride, he will probably still host campaign-style rallies because that is what he is a good at, and he will use that to remind people how he “made America great again.” And to an extent – it will probably work – because those rallies are where Trump is most convincing and effective.
And the best part for the President is that the media won’t be able to blame his one term presidency on a failed first term or because he was no longer up for the job. No, he foresaw that issue sixteen years ago, and he put it to rest.
But of course, it is still early, we will have to see how things go over the next 3.5 years.