Why Donald Trump was desperate to announce his 2024 presidential run

Trump went ahead with the announcement despite the voices of discontent within his party. Many Republicans had openly asked him to hold off the announcement till the senate run-off in Georgia next month

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Rajesh Ahuja
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Donald Trump

Donald Trump announcing his 2024 presidential run

New Delhi: He refused to concede defeat, has been impeached twice, facing multiple criminal probes by the justice department for mishandling classified documents and the January 6 capitol attack of last year which investigators suspect was part of the larger conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results and now he has announced that he wants to return to the White House in 2024 despite a dismal performance by many candidates endorsed by him in the midterm elections.

On Tuesday night Donald J Trump from his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida told the Americans that his journey to return to the White House has begun.

So, what prompted him to jump into the race?

His party doesn’t seem to be happy as many Republicans had openly asked him to hold off the announcement till the senate run-off in Georgia next month but Donald Trump refused to listen to voices of discontent and went ahead with the declaration. 

His lawyers have formally informed the Federal Election Commission about the formation of the committee for Trump’s reelection. Even his announcement was not attended by prominent party leaders. Major TV networks didn’t devote much time to his speech as was the case earlier.

So despite all this gloom, why Trump was desperate to announce his 2024 presidential run?

Rumours circulating in the power corridors say the announcement may keep Trump out of prison as the decision-making process in the justice department with regard to probes launched against him may get complicated as he is now a presidential candidate. 

There are already talks of appointing a special counsel to probe Trump but after his announcement of his candidacy, chances of such a development have become bleaker as Trump will immediately claim that the Biden administration is targeting for political reasons.

So, will political viability keep Trump safe from criminal probes? But if that is the case then also Trump has major reasons to worry.

Trump’s grip on the Republican Party was so comprehensive that even his false claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him were treated as gospel by the leadership. The assault on Capitol was also tolerated. The party defended him when the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago resort looking for classified documents, all in hope that Trump knows his electorate.

After surprisingly winning the 2016 election, the Republican Party first lost control of Congress in the midterm 2018, then the White House was gone too in 2020 and now Democrats have managed to retain the senate and if they can hold on to the Georgia run-off, the party will have a clear majority with 51 seats in the house of 100, giving President Joe Biden breather to get his senior officials and federal judges confirmed from the upper house without any trouble. 

And their majority in the lower house is going to be so slim that merely snatching it back from the Democrats seems to be the only consolation left for the Republicans.

But for the first time, there are doubts about Trump’s hold on his base as many candidates endorsed by him lost in the midterm, with prominent among them being Kari Lake in the gubernatorial race in Arizona.

Trump can remain out of prison and away from another financial disaster as far as his businesses are concerned, only if he remains politically operational.

But his political viability is slowly slipping away as the party is looking beyond Trump with Florida governor Ron DeSantis emerging as a favourite. Trump knew this and launched a blistering attack on DeSantis but the party has taken an unfavourable view on attacks launched by him on his possible challengers for the 2024 Republican nominations.  

The Republicans are still fearful of annoying Trump despite his base slipping. He still has a huge amount of campaign funds to boost his candidacy while his rivals within the Republican fold still figuring out how to announce their candidacy.

Importantly, in his announcement too, Trump has shown he hasn’t lost the edge when it comes to being a divisive figure.

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