"In Trump's Shadow": Sizing Up GOP’s 2024 Field

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

If there were a Pulitzer Prize for premature speculation, it might go to David M. Drucker for his new book, “In Trump’s Shadow.” He assumes there will be a contested Republican presidential primary campaign in 2024, even if Donald Trump chooses to run. He admits that “top Republicans . . . revolve in an uneasy orbit around Trump as if moons circling a careening asteroid.” And he tells us that Trump “is mystified, and a bit flummoxed, that so many Republicans believe he will not chase the White House a third time.” But, Drucker writes, “pay no attention to talk of the former president freezing the field. . . . It’s all nonsense.” So, there are Republicans who will run against him in 2024? Drucker says yes, but he never explains why anyone would be so crazy as to risk it.

And yet, this is Trump we’re talking about. His 2024 “campaign” may be more of the same old flimflam, a way to raise money — his businesses aren’t doing so well — and keep his name in the news. He may face criminal and civil litigation between now and the next presidential campaign. He will be older, at 78, in 2024 than Joe Biden was in 2020. New, damaging facts may emerge about his business dealings and perhaps his personal life. It is possible, as one GOP source asserts, that Trump will find his post-presidential lifestyle more amenable than the presidency. All of which amounts to . . . well, not very much. He’s probably running. And if he does, others won’t. The courage to confront Trump is not in great supply in the Republican Party.

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