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A Trump resurrection?

I'll be back? Canberra correspondent John McDonnell speculates on a Trump resurrection

According to the new book ‘Peril’ by Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, the US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley and the speaker of the house of representatives, Nancy Pelosi, met after the invasion of the Capitol building on January 6, 2020, and decided that President Trump was insane.

General Milley believed that Trump should be removed under the 25th amendment of the US constitution because he constituted a threat to United States security.

The book describes two occasions on which General Milley contacted his counterpart in the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army in October 2019 and January 2020, to reassure him that the United States was not going to declare war on China, notwithstanding the President’s irrational behaviour.

President Trump subsequently said that General Milley was guilty of treason.

Despite his view that Donald Trump is not a fit person to hold the job of president of the United States, Bob Woodward thinks that he could well be the next president.

In ‘Peril’, Woodward describes Trump’s strengths as a political animal. He compares Trump and Biden:

“Trump is the more compelling figure, the sun within his own universe and the driving force in national politics. Biden seems less sure of himself, less forceful in debate, often more importuning than commanding.
“But Trump also comes across as impatient, often delusional and obsessed with his own personal scoreboard. He is impatient and intolerant of dissent. Biden comes across as comparatively benign, inclined to listening and even saying he's sorry.”

In an article in the Washington Post on Monday, Woodward referred to a rally in Iowa as evidence of Trump’s popularity in Middle America.

Donald Trump held a rally in Iowa that looked like a full-on start for a presidential campaign. The rally came on the heels of a poll that showed that the former president was well ahead, in the eyes of Iowans, as the candidate for the 2024 election.

Trump hasn’t announced that he is a candidate for the next election yet.

Instead, he is manipulating the internal factions of the Republican party in order to prosecute his own agenda. Key in this is his ambition to have his candidates elected to the congress and the senate in 2022, so he can prevent congressional investigation of his activities around the last election. At the moment he seems to have an iron grip on Republican activities on Capitol hill.

Congressional leaders Senator Lindsay Grahame and Mitch McConnell are pussyfooting around Trump. Both say Trump is wrong when he claims the last election was a fraud, but both have contacts with him socially and do not oppose his intervention in the party’s activities.

Meanwhile, former President Trump is fundraising strongly; and bragging about how he would defeat potential rivals including the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, if he chose to seek the nomination again.

To people outside America, it is implausible that Donald Trump could be president again, given the fact that he produced the biggest death toll in the US in the last hundred years as a consequence of his negligence in dealing with coronavirus - and the evidence of his delusional response to his loss in the last election.

But the next presidential election is three years away and things can change very quickly.

Joe Biden is having trouble uniting the Democratic party behind his agenda, and he has had a big failure in Afghanistan. If his administration is hit by an energy crisis then things could go pear-shaped at the mid-term congressional elections and Trump will control the Congress.

From there, he could surf back into the White House.


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