by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump isn’t going away after Jan. 20 even if all his election challenges fail and Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president.
That’s the conclusion of Republican operatives, who expect Trump to continue wielding his Twitter megaphone at a minimum and at least to consider a 2024 presidential campaign. They are more split on the question of what effect this will have on the party.
“He will cast a shadow over all the candidates who could succeed him,” said a Republican strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns. “It will be huge.”
To many Republicans, it depends on how Trump chooses to exercise his influence over the party and the direction of the country. He could start a media company to rival Fox News, a network that has displeased him with its coverage of the election. “Trump TV” rumors have been persistent for the last five years. He could launch a super PAC to promote Republican candidates who share his views on foreign policy, trade, and immigration. Or he could continue his campaign for the presidency because he is still eligible to serve another term under the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution.
“Trump has a whole family he can have on the show,” a Republican fundraiser said. “Don Jr., Kimberly [Guilfoyle], Eric, Lara.”
Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, though less conservative, have all also assumed large roles in both the Trump campaigns and the White House. Trump’s allies seem poised to retain control of the Republican National Committee.
A Washington Examiner/YouGov poll found that 48% of voters wanted Trump to leave politics entirely if he lost, but 38% of Republicans said he should run again, and 34% believed he should back like-minded candidates. Just 9% of Republicans thought he should abandon politics completely.