Donald Trump was the first member of the Republican Party to announce his campaign for the presidency in 2024, unsurprisingly. What is a bit of a shocker is that no one else has really stepped up to challenge him, especially given the rather serious undercurrent of political gossip on the subject.
Nevertheless, this has given the former President carte blanche to campaign as he sees fit, mixing and matching event styles to his heart’s content. He’s chasing no one, and so the message can be clearer as opposed to simply quicker.
This week, Trump is switching things up a bit, and taking his politicking back to the small room.
Former President Donald Trump is planning to hold his first public campaign event of the year in South Carolina, in what aides are portraying as a first step into a more public phase of his 2024 White House run.
Trump is slated to make an appearance in late January in Columbia, S.C. It will not be a rally, his advisers said, but will be a more “intimate” event where he will roll out his leadership operation in a state which hosts a key early Republican primary contest. Trump’s advisers are casting the plans as part of a gradual build-out of the former president’s campaign, following a relatively private month-and-a-half since a November launch that coincided with the holiday season.
Trump’s people pushed back on this misguided feedback.
During a Wednesday interview with POLITICO, senior Trump advisers Brian Jack, Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles pushed back on the idea that Trump had so far run a low-energy effort, pointing to his opening of a campaign headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., his activity in key primary states over the course of the 2022 midterm election and the initial build-out of senior staff.Advertisement - story continues below
They said the forthcoming South Carolina event, among other moves, was evidence that the former president was taking important steps to set himself up for the GOP nomination during the opening days of the race.
“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,” said LaCivita. “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.”
Again, the former President has nothing to lose. His would-be usurpers are likely waiting on Biden’s DOJ, or the New York Attorney General, or the Special Grand Jury in Georgia to make a move before they begin spending their campaigning cash.
But they oughtn’t hold their collective breath too long, because Donald Trump with a head-start is going to be tough to catch.