by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Nathanael Blake of the Federalist ponders the impact of the 45th president and Florida’s governor on other potential 2024 candidates.
The Trump campaign is putting out some great videos about his plans to “save American education” and “protest children from left-wing gender insanity.” And while it may be frustrating for Trump to be forced to issue promises instead of being able to act on his political agenda, the videos are full of excellent proposals; it’s too bad Trump never had an opportunity to implement them.
This obvious rejoinder illustrates the strength and weakness of Trump’s attempt to win the GOP presidential nomination for a third straight time. The strength is seen in Trump’s willingness to speak plainly about controversial issues when most Republican politicians would equivocate. He is happy to appeal to the party’s conservative base. But his bold promises raise the question: Why didn’t he do this during his four years as president?
The more Trump promises to achieve through executive action in a second term, the more he diminishes his first term. Furthermore, Trump’s tacit admission that he left a lot undone in his first four years may sow doubts about whether he will follow through if given another term. Of course, the former president and his backers can offer excuses for why he didn’t accomplish these things the first time around, but voters may not be persuaded, given that he sold himself as someone who would cut through red tape.
Furthermore, these videos suggest Trump is chasing his expected primary (in both senses) rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. While Trump promises action if he returns to office, DeSantis has been racking up wins on these issues. …
… It may be frustrating for the Trump campaign to have to make promises while DeSantis makes policies, but the dynamic is great for conservatives.