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Posted: November 13, 2022

In politics it ain’t over until it’s over

“Perceptions,” by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary


Before you do anything else today, mark Tuesday, Nov.15 on your calendar or smart phone because that’s a day which may well go down in history. And why is that you say?

That’s the day Donald J. Trump is going to make a “major” announcement and given Trump’s tempestuous and capricious history no one can say with any certitude what that alleged “major” announcement might be.

But a good guess says it will concern his intentions for November 2024 and whether he will take another aim at the Oval Office. When he did this in 2020 most of us laughed at the possibility of him even gaining the Republican nomination little alone actually getting elected to the world’s most powerful political office.

We couldn’t have been more wrong, could we? But could lightning strike the same place twice?

Many would say no, especially in light of the Republicans’ less than stellar performance in Tuesday’s primaries when the Grand Old Party fell far short of its expectation of a “red wave” of support. Instead, they got a ripple that will do little to sweep the Democrats out of the House of Representatives and the Senate. President Joe Biden was not left on life support in the White House and “The Donald” had to delay his reincarnation as Commander in Chief.

It didn’t quite happen that way and as German leader Otto Von Bismarck once famously said “politics is the art of the possible.” But Trump didn’t do that. Instead, he tried to lead the world’s greatest democracy down the road to authoritarianism and fascism and provoked an unprecedented coup on the US Capitol that took lives and soiled its reputation for years.

Some legacy!

And on Nov. 15, we’ll find out if Trump intends to return for act two.

After the GOP’s surprisingly poor showing in the primaries, some have predicted Trump will throw in the towel and retire to Mar-a-Lago. Several elected Republicans have worked up the courage to criticize Trump publicly, something that seldom happened before. Even some in the right-wing media have called for Trump’s head.

Under a 72-point headline, the New York Post called him “Trumpty Dumpty” who couldn’t finish his wall. Fox News ignored Trump in its primary night TV coverage and instead played up the landslide victory of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, seen as Trump’s most potent rival in Republican ranks. So where does this leave us leading up to the 2024 presidential race? In a slippery spot, I would say.

Trump is wounded, but still dangerous. Even though a few of the high-profile candidates he backed in the primaries lost their seats, most of them won and remain formidable storm troopers to his cause. Even DeSantis is still refraining from criticizing Trump directly, letting others do his dirty work for him. So, what’s Trump likely to do? Anyone who’s followed Trump’s political history ought to know. He’ll do what he’s always done in his entire political and business career.

He’ll double down.

And unless a tiny ray of sanity finally manages to penetrate his narcissistic brain, that could set up one of the nastiest and most spectacular political confrontations in American history. If DeSantis is determined to go mano-a-mano with Trump like Ali vs Frazier there’s going to be a lot of blood on the canvas before it’s over. It’s even possible, like Ali vs Frazier, the two will take out each other leaving the opportunity for another candidate to jump in and pick up the pieces.

And who might that be you wonder? Think for a second. Who were the Jan. 6 rioters yelling to kill? Yes, Nancy Pelosi was one, of course but she’s the wrong party. What about Mike Pence? Haven’t heard much from him lately, but is that because he’s quietly and furiously working on his 2024 presidential bid?

Pence wants it bad. That’s no secret. And as vice-president he’s got experience and connections. And he’s got one more thing that could be critical— the undying support of Republican evangelicals that could put him over the top while Trump and DeSantis destroy each other.

Just thinking.

– Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who can often smell a contentious leadership race before it happens.


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