Trump, Who Thinks He’s Still President, Is Bringing Back His Rallies Next Month

You might not know it from the way he spent months trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election, but Donald Trump actually hated being president. “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going…this is more work than in my previous life,” he told Reuters in 2017. “I thought it would be easier.” Yes, it was an extremely rude awakening for the reality TV show host to learn that being president was an actual job and a pretty difficult one at that. Necessarily, he made some changes to the gig to make it more palatable to him—reportedly watching hours of TV a day, rolling up to the Oval Office at noon, not reading his intelligence briefings—but when it came to the actual work of running the country, he was not a fan. What he did like about being POTUS was the power, and he especially loved holding rallies where his supporters would hang on his every incomprehensible word and aside like he was an authoritarian ruler. So naturally, he’s bringing them back.

The New York Post reports that Trump’s team “is in the process of selecting venues” for a pair of rallies in June, with a third expected to take place around the Fourth of July. While Trump has done interviews since leaving Washington, he’s yet to address his base via the campaign-style rallies he held during his four years in office, as the Post noted, the last one being the “Stop the Steal” speech he gave shortly before his supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Joe Biden from becoming president.

What can one expect from the trio of summer events? Certainly, there will be long, rambling claims about how he won the election and that the Democrats and fake-news media stole it from him. Obviously he’ll also undoubtedly blather on at length about the terrible job Biden is supposedly doing, like he did at some poor couple’s wedding in March:

Elsewhere, odds are high to extremely high he’ll complain about not getting enough credit for the COVID-19 vaccines; attack Liz Cheney and other Republicans who had the audacity to blame him for January 6; mock the lower third of Mitch McConnell’s face; and revive his one-sided feud with showerheads and toilets. He’ll most likely also continue to tease a 2024 run for the White House.

And speaking of Trump and bids for office, Bloomberg reports that as Republicans hope to regain control of Congress in the 2022 midterms, data reveals that an endorsement from the ex-president may be the kiss of death:

The former president is studying races and plans to bestow his superlative-laden endorsements around the country in many 2022 primary or general election contests for the U.S. House, Senate, and governorships, according to a person familiar with his thinking. While those nods can still be the golden ticket in a Republican primary and solidly GOP districts, they also can energize independents and Democrats who don’t like Trump in competitive districts—risking defeat for Republican candidates in the general election and with it possible control of the House, according to studies of the 2018 and 2020 campaigns.

In Colorado, Trump’s endorsement last year of Republican senator Cory Gardner in a race that leaned Democratic helped shore up his standing among Republicans, according to David Flaherty, a Colorado–based Republican–leaning pollster and founder of Magellan Strategies. A Magellan poll in October showed Gardner had 89% support among Republicans. But Flaherty said Trump’s backing alienated unaffiliated voters who turned out in large numbers in the general election, and Gardner lost to Democrat John Hickenlooper by more than 9 percentage points. That dynamic means Trump could swing a close race the wrong way for Republicans in a suburban district by shifting blame for his actions and policies onto the GOP candidate.

Earlier this month, Trump announced his support for Susan Wright, who was running in a special election to replace her late husband, Representative Ron Wright, in a safe Republican district in Texas. He claimed that “Susan surged after I gave her an endorsement last week.” Wright was the top vote-getter but failed to avoid a runoff. In fact, almost 70% of the votes cast for Republicans in the crowded field were for someone besides Wright.

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