According to a report from the Atlantic's Peter Nicholas, a close adviser to former president Donald Trump admitted they are "rehearsing" arguments intended to convince the former president that another presidential run in 2024 could end in disaster and embarrassment.
As Nicholas wrote, despite polls showing Trump to be the odds-on choice to be the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2024, there are signs that there is a building movement against him among conservatives who are being more vocal about moving on without him.
Noting the election of Republican Glenn Youngkin as the new governor of Virginia who kept his distance from the twice-impeached former president as one key data point, Nicholas wrote that Trump's influence over GOP lawmakers is showing cracks.
According to Nicholas, "If Donald Trump tries to run for president again, one of his former campaign advisers has a plan to dissuade him. Anticipating that Trump may not know who Adlai Stevenson was or that he lost two straight presidential elections in the 1950s, this ex-adviser figures he or someone else might need to explain the man's unhappy fate. They'll remind Trump that if he were beaten in 2024, he would join Stevenson as one of history's serial losers. 'I think that would resonate,' said this person, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity to talk more freely. 'Trump hates losers.'"
"Trump might not listen to his former campaign confidante. But the mere fact that someone who worked to elect Trump the first time is rehearsing arguments to stop a comeback suggests that the former president's tight grip on the Republican Party may be slipping," Nichols suggested.
While there have been many accusations made that Trump is only teasing a 2024 run to keep donations flowing into his PAC -- as well as his obsession with keeping his names in the news -- a former Trump White House adviser believes Trump will bail when push comes to shove.
According to Nicholas, "Trump's most potent means of retaining his hold on his party is perpetuating the idea that he'll be back on the ballot in three years. Whether he goes through with launching a reelection campaign may be beside the point. Stepping aside would be tantamount to inviting a slew of Republican candidates to jump in the 2024 presidential-nomination race and fill the space he's vacating. Trump is not about to let his relevancy plummet," adding that John Bolton has his doubts that Trump will risk the embarrassment of a second loss.
"Imagine what would happen if he said, 'After careful consideration, I won't be a candidate in 2024,'" Bolton suggested. "You can hear the spotlight switches turning off. He'll talk about it [running for president again] right up until the point when he doesn't."
According to the report the true test of whether Trump will run again will be how the candidates he endorsed in the 2022 midterms fare.
According to another Trump adviser who wished to remain anonymous, "Trump will look like a f*cking dummy because he endorsed the wrong people."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) agreed Trump will likely bow out, telling Nicholas, "I don't think he wants to risk losing twice. Once, you can argue about the outcome. Twice, it becomes a repudiation."
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