WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump, who has defied political appeal with an extraordinary rise from reality star and businessman to the presidency, has returned to earth.
Finally, a series of rallies, an unprecedented voter activity and his sheer willpower cannot surpass the reality of his enduring dislikes and a grand The plague has killed more than 236,000 people in the United States and left millions out of jobs.
Yet Trump’s fierce political brand – his taunts on Twitter, his attempt to punish his vengeful foe, his alone approach to the world ̵1; has made its mark in the mainstream. cover and more. And his better-than-expected election results against Democrat Joe Biden suggest his impact will likely resonate for generations in politics, management, and policy, even if failure.
It remains to be seen what Trump plans to do after his term ends on January 20. Withdrawal to the golf course? Launch your own TV network? Laying the foundations to run again? And how fiercely will he try to contend for his fate?
“I fully expect the president to continue participating in politics. I will absolutely put him on the short list of potential candidates by 2024, ”former Trump’s chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said in an online interview with the Institute of International Affairs & Europe. “He doesn’t like to lose.”
Trump retains the loudspeaker of his Twitter account, an influential Fox News platform and the insignificant support of his loyal supporters who may never accept defeat. defeat after months asserted there was no way for him to legally lose and even declare false. win soon.
On Saturday, Trump refused to give in to President-elect Biden, instead promising unspecified legal challenges to try to overturn the results of the race.
Until a successor shows up to lead the Republican party – probably not until the decision of the 2024 Republican primary election – Trump remains the de facto head of one the party in which he reshaped his image.
“Even when it failed, Donald Trump exceeded expectations and helped other Republicans do the same,” said GOP adviser Michael Steel, who worked at Capitol Hill and for the campaigns. . “He will remain a powerful force within the party.”
However, Trump’s loss is likely to spark calculation of the extent to which the party should accept Trump in the future, especially when Republicans can retain control of the Senate and gain control of the Senate. extra seats in the House of Representatives.
If Biden wins in a loss, it would “wind behind so many Republicans who say personality and Republicans should never trust someone who pushes boundaries like Donald Trump” , said former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who served under former President George W. Bush.
But as it gets closer, he predicts the party will likely “continue to be divided by the split between insiders and outsiders, between the establishment and Trump supporters, who are at fault with the establishment.” And the former president’s role is about to become a big question mark because if he decides to stay active, despite the near-cost, he is still powerful and efficient, especially for the Republicans. . “
Meanwhile, it is unclear whether Trump will accept the election results or continue to run as he spends the next three months as a lousy president.
Those who knew him well said that it was very unlikely that he would quietly go into the night.
“When Donald Trump loses, there will never be a peaceful transfer of power,” said longtime Trump lawyer and critic Michael Cohen. He predicts Trump will do everything in his power to declare the election “stole from him” by Democrats or other forces, just as Trump tries to discord while votes are taking place. tally.
Cohen said Trump was also aware that after losing the presidency, he could “be served with a lot of lawsuits, both federal and state.” Trump has faced lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and defamation, and his Trump Organization finances are under investigation by the New York attorney general.
Barbara Res, a longtime Trump associate who recently wrote a book on his experience working with him, speculates that the president might leave the country before Mr. Biden takes office and may pursue a legacy. their own communication.
“He can wear whatever he wants. He can say whatever he wants. It was like Twitter exploding into everything else, ”she said.
On the Republican future, Steel said the party is likely to look for leaders that combine elements of Trump’s populist agenda with policies that appeal to voter diversity.
“The challenge will be to identify common, enduring, and practical parts of his agenda and match them with policies and arguments that appeal to the broader voters that the party will,” he said. need to win at the national level in the future ”.
Under Trump, the Republicans have fully embraced the populist wave launched by the Tea Party rebels in previous years, shifting the focus from downward economic and free trade to trade war and political war. foreign books in isolationism.
His rise opened up a new path to the presidency, driven more by the power of personality than by policy, which resounded even as he lost the Voter vote. group. His national message and the sparking of “cultural wars” demonstrated the power of divided politics and promoted a reorganization of generational politics.
While he reached out to white and working-class rural voters by expressing economic and racial discontent, he also dislodged college-educated voters in the cities. and suburbs with sometimes confusing rhetoric and endless tweets.
However, many Republicans believed he would win the election if the coronavirus did not occur and voters believed he mishandled.
Some of the top GOP leaders believe that while the so-called “Never Trumpers” may celebrate the presidential defeat, Republicans will not be able to completely reject him, due to the His school of commerce, immigration and foreign policy resonated with voters as to how he won second.
It is also unclear if those flocked to the party because Trump will continue to join when he is no longer on the ticket.
The 2024 Republican nomination race has started quietly behind the scenes. A wide range of candidates are testing the waters, from moderates like Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, to firefighting brands like Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and former Trump officials like Governor South Carolina Nikki Haley. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has become a particular favorite with the president’s staunch supporters on the runway, meaning the Trump name may exist.
Fleischer said the team will likely be looking for someone with an outsider’s blunt voice, who at the same time refrains from going too far “to the point where your tweets push people who want to be for you.”
Many Trump supporters see his influence continuing.
Chris Haluck, 56, said: “We started something that will go on for generations, looking at the crowd of thousands at Trump’s recent rally in Pennsylvania that she attended. with 17-year-old daughter.
Indeed, as Trump has traveled across the country, his campaign has inspired a new generation of supporters who have hosted their own events outside of the campaign infrastructure.
These included the “Large Major Island”, which drew thousands of people to parade by car in New York, a state dominated by Democrats.
Matt Vereline, who joined team members at Trump’s rally recently, says that even if Trump loses, the group intends to continue its efforts, focusing on local politicians, includes the Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Of course, we want to get rid of Cuomo,” he said. “And we want to overthrow de Blasio. We will try to organize. “