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Donald Trump Is Back (Or Will 2024 Be a Disaster?)

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Donald Trump headed back to the campaign trail, in South Carolina: Ever since former President Donald Trump announced late last year that he’s running for president again in 2024, it’s been noted that Trump’s presence has been somewhat muted.

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There have been no rallies since the midterm elections, he hasn’t had many public events, his media appearances have mostly been with non-Fox conservative outlets, and it’s fairly clear that he’s not able to drive the news cycle the way he could at the time of his original campaign and presidency. 

Here Comes Donald Trump 

Now, there’s word that the ex-president is heading back out on the trail. But not with his traditional large rallies, at least not yet. 

According to Politico, Trump is set to appear in late January at an “intimate event” in Columbia, S.C.

The event is not a full-on rally, but rather an event where Trump will “roll out his leadership operation in a state which hosts a key early Republican primary contest.”

It’s part of what Trump’s team is calling a “gradual build-out” of Trump’s 2024 effort. 

The former president’s advisers also told the site that Trump has opened a campaign headquarters in West Palm Beach and that he has been hiring senior staff.

Trump ran the campaign out of Trump Tower in 2016, and from Arlington, Va. in 2020. 

“Not all that occurs in the campaign is done in the public eye … There’s a level of expectation that is maybe pushed by people that don’t view the campaign in maybe the most positive light,” Chris LaCivita, one of the top staffers, told Politico. “You have to husband your resources, you have to plan and you have to be ready, and so all of that — we don’t advertise those aspects of campaign building, of campaign organizing.”

The advisers did not tell Politico when Trump will begin holding his trademark rallies again. 

“People want to push, ‘Why aren’t you doing rallies?’ Well, I think it would be kind of crazy to be spending huge amounts of money this far out,” LaCivita said in the interview. 

Donald Trump, during the midterm elections, visited various early primary states, endorsing candidates there, and also has cultivated support from the party apparatus in those states. 

Trump is pushing to become the Republican nominee for president for the third consecutive cycle, and to become the first president since Grover Cleveland to serve non-consecutive terms. This time, though, he’ll be running after two impeachments, as well as the multiple criminal investigations he’s currently facing. 

Trump is likely to face a large slate of opposing candidates, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expected to run, and numerous other figures mentioned as possible candidates, from Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence to his former secretary of state Mike Pompeo to former Congresswoman and sworn Trump enemy Rep. Liz Cheney

As of now, Donald Trump is the only major candidate officially in the race, but others are likely to get in by the spring, although the first voting, in Iowa caucuses, which are about a year away from now. 

Polls have shown different pictures of the race. According to a FiveThirtyEight analysis last week, it depends on who’s included in the polls. 

“Some, like Morning Consult’s tracking poll, give former President Donald Trump a wide lead. Others, like a December survey from YouGov/The Economist, show Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis far ahead, despite the fact that he has not yet officially launched a campaign,” FiveThirtyEight said. 

“But there’s a reason the polls disagree so much: They’re asking about different campaigns. Some surveys are asking about a hypothetical head-to-head race between Trump and DeSantis, while others are asking about a multiway battle royal among several Republicans. In one of these scenarios, DeSantis is the favorite; in the other, it’s Trump.”

But it is, of course, very early. There’s barely been any campaigning yet, and most voters aren’t thinking about the 2024 race and probably won’t for a while. 

 Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.