Trump has a Plan to Beat DeSantis (Seriously)
Believe it or not, Trump's campaign has a pretty good strategy to win the nomination.
The first few months of Donald Trump’s third Presidential campaign have been a punchline. The media, Democrats, and his Republican rivals enjoyed poking fun at his soporific announcement, his less-than-enthusiastic reception from the party, his bizarre truths, and his growing legal problems. Trump's first official campaign rallies did little to assuage the doubters. Axios wrote:
Former President Trump's first campaign swing of the 2024 campaign generated little of the excitement that has long defined his glitzy political rallies … From party officials to state legislators, there wasn't a visible show of support for Trump's 2024 bid among rank-and-file New Hampshire Republicans in attendance …The most organized show of Trump support was about a dozen fans standing outside the parking lot, who weren't credentialed for the event.
The New York Times and others pointed out the lackluster reception, rambling remarks, and disorganization present in Trump’s first campaign swing of the year. I partake in the schadenfreude as much as anyone, but if you ignore the buffoonery and squint hard enough at what Trump is doing, you can see — wait for it — an actual strategy to beat Ron DeSantis. And it’s not the worst strategy, either.
I know this sounds absurd. Retconning strategic intention to explain the ramblings of a former game show host with a tenuous hold on reality has been a fool’s errand since Trump ran for President eight years ago. Trump’s words (and Truths) reveal a subconscious desire not to return to the White House. Trump’s last two campaigns were run by the dregs of the Republican Party and his dilettante son-in-law. This time around, he hired some real Republican operatives, including Chris LaCivita — the man responsible for SwiftBoating John Kerry in 2004. It appears they have a plan to win the nomination despite some serious obstacles
Having a strategy and executing a strategy are two very different things. I would still bet against Trump sticking to a script or adhering to a plan. However, consistent with my long-running mantra to “worry about everything and panic about nothing” it’s worth understanding the mindset of Joe Biden’s most likely 2024 opponent.
Step 1: Nullify DeSantis’ Culture War Advantage
Trump isn’t exactly a “policy guy.” Neither of his previous White House campaigns were big on white papers or the sorts of policy rollouts that are typical in a campaign season. Trump’s policy process was to say or tweet insane ideas moments after they manifested themselves in his pea brain and then his campaign or White House aides would try to turn them into policy.
But right before his campaign swing, Trump rolled out an education “policy.” I put “policy” in quotes because what Trump announced was a MAGA media mad libs list of bigoted grievances and conspiracy theories.
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