Trump was supposed to be a political Godzilla in exile. Instead, he’s adrift. Even allies say the president is lacking an apparatus and direction

Squire

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Trump's conduct is killing any chances for the emergence of a GOP presidential contender in 2024 whether or not Trump runs. Any candidate opposing Donald Trump will be savagely attacked by the remains of the Trump political machine.

Trump is a typical dispirited loser as he shows a lack of enthusiasm after being KOd by sleepy Joe.

Even the Maganuts will desert him eventually as there is nothing to cheer in a wretched loser trying to spin some enthusiasm among Maganuts when he personally lacks enthusiasm.

Donald Trump no longer has a forum or bully pulpit and he has nothing to fire up his Maganuts who are presently satisfied with nothing, probably on the basis that if Trump is doing nothing then that is better than his usual screwing up.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/14/trump-post-presidency-475733

Trump was supposed to be a political Godzilla in exile. Instead, he’s adrift.
Even allies say the president is lacking an apparatus and direction as he sorts out just what he wants to do in his post-presidency.

The version of former President Donald Trump that has emerged in the month and a half since he left office is far from the political godzilla many expected him to be.

By GABBY ORR and MERIDITH MCGRAW

03/14/2021 06:50 AM EDT

He backed away from creating a third party and has soured on the costly prospect of launching his own TV empire or social media startup.

His vow to target disloyal Republicans with personally-recruited primary challengers has taken a backseat to conventional endorsements of senators who refused to indulge his quest to overturn the 2020 election.

And though he was supposed to build a massive political apparatus to keep his MAGA movement afloat, it’s unclear to Republicans what his PAC is actually doing, beyond entangling itself in disputes with Republican icons and the party’s fundraising arms.

Ex-president Donald Trump finds himself adrift while in political exile. And Republicans, and even some allies, say he is disorganized, torn between playing the role of antagonist and party leader.

“There is no apparatus, no structure and part of that is due to a lack of political understanding on Trump’s behalf,” said a person close to the former president, noting that Trump has struggled to learn the ropes of post-presidential politicking.

“It’s like political phantom limbs. He doesn't have the same political infrastructure he did three months ago as president,” added GOP strategist Matt Gorman, who previously served as communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The version of Trump that has emerged in the month and a half since he left office is far from the political godzilla many expected him to be. He was supposed to unleash hell on a party apparatus that recoiled when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and declined to fiercely defend him during his second impeachment. Instead, Trump has maintained close ties to GOP officials who have committed to supporting incumbents, stayed almost entirely out of the spotlight, delivered fairly anodyne remarks the one time he emerged, and offered only sparse criticism of his successor, Joe Biden.

The cumulative result is political whiplash, as the former president shifts from wanting to support the GOP with his resources and grassroots appeal one day to refocusing on his own brand and thirst for vengeance the next. In the past week alone, Trump has gone from threatening party bodies for using his name and likeness in their fundraising efforts to offering up his Mar-a-Lago estate as a host site for part of the Republican National Committee’s spring donor retreat. He savagely attacked veteran GOP operative Karl Rove for criticizing his first post-presidency speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee, and endorsed Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), who repeatedly scrutinized Trump’s own trade practices while in office.

And in the span of 24 hours this week, Trump went from encouraging NFL running back Herschel Walker to mount a primary bid against Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to hosting a vocal opponent of insurgent primary challenges, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., for dinner at Mar-a-Lago. In his role as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Scott has promised to stick by GOP incumbents — including Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump in his Senate trial last month on charges of inciting an insurrection. The Florida Republican said he had a “great meeting” with Trump in a tweet he shared Friday.

“For any normal politician, it would look like he’s trying to have it both ways but really he’s trying to have it his way,” said a former Trump White House official. “He only cares about maintaining his power and his stranglehold over the Republican Party and it doesn’t matter to him how any of the moves he makes affect the long-term success of institutions or individuals other than himself.”

Trump has always been an impulsive figure who demanded loyalty from those around him. But those traits have come with positions of power: whether atop a real estate empire, as a media celebrity, or — in his last iteration — as president of the United States.

No longer occupying a powerful office, the task has been made more complicated. The former president has appeared to settle into life outside the confines of the West Wing, and even made his first trip to New York earlier this week. He continues to hold court on the patio of his Mar-a-Lago resort where he is greeted by a standing ovation from members when he and the former first lady walk by. He spends his days monitoring the news, making calls and playing golf at his eponymous club just a few miles away.

He has assembled a barebones staff of paid and unpaid advisers who say they are working to vet primary candidates seeking his support and get his fundraising operation off the ground. But the factions that have already formed among those surrounding him suggest potential turbulence ahead. Three veterans of Trump’s 2020 campaign — Brad Parscale, Bill Stepien and Justin Clark — have been screening primary recruitments and brainstorming ways to reestablish his online presence, while Dave Bossie and Corey Lewandowski are in talks with the ex-president to launch a new fundraising entity on his behalf, according to people briefed on the recent discussions.

At the same time, Trump has continued to phone pals from his real estate days and former White House officials — soliciting their counsel on which Republicans he should try to unseat and whether they approve of the primary challengers he’s considering. One former administration official who has been in contact with Trump described him as a “pinball,” noting that his tendency to abruptly change directions or seize on a new idea after speaking with a friend or outside adviser — a habit that often frustrated aides during his time in office — has carried into his post-presidency life.

“You’ve got Trump making endorsements of people without going through the process he agreed to three days ago,” said the former White House official. “It’s really disorganized.”

The fear among Republicans is that Trump’s indecisiveness will extend to his personal political future as well. Trump has continued to dangle a 2024 run over the party, and the will-he-won’t-he guessing game has held presidential hopefuls in limbo.
 
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