Trump is back, and he’s laden with debt, but don’t count it out for 2024

By the Editorial Board

Portraying America as a hopeless case of decadence and economic disaster, former President Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election on Tuesday. Everything about Trump’s speech – a rambling, hour-long monologue of lies , complaints and wild exaggerations – was exhausting to watch and no doubt frustrating for Republican leaders hoping to recover from the November 8 midterm disappointment and rebuild their party without him at the top of the ticket.

Trump is back whether Republicans like it or not. A big question is whether Democrats want him back. He’s like a migraine that won’t go away, but he might be the most beatable Republican on the predictable 2024 lineup.

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At least for now, Trump will have to campaign without many of the advantages he once enjoyed. Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate, which includes Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, withdrew its support and began openly criticizing Trump. Congressional leadership appears to be distancing itself, leaving wacky representatives like Florida’s Matt Gaetz and Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene as its main cheerleaders. Even Missouri Senator Josh Hawley refuses to raise his fist in defense of Trump.

Trump’s legal woes are piling up, including two Justice Department investigations into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol uprising and his unlawful withholding of thousands of government documents — some highly classified — in his estate of Mar-a-Lago. His business is on trial in New York, and a Georgia grand jury is investigating his efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election result. At least part of Trump’s motive for announcing now is to forestall these legal actions.

The word exaggeration doesn’t do justice to the wild embellishments that formed the bulk of Trump’s speech. As usual under his presidency, hardly a sentence left his mouth without needing a factual clarification or an outright lie. To paint a picture of economic decline and social catastrophe, he distorted national gasoline prices, the state of the strategic petroleum reserve, the nation’s economic status while in power, tariffs on Chinese products and the number of illegal border crossings by immigrants, and drugs allegedly smuggled by immigrants.

Trump said, “I’ve gone decades – decades – without a war. The first president to do so for such a long time. Decades! It’s a headache for a president who only served four years.

Trump managed not to say a word on the biggest day of his presidency, when he pointed to Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 and sparked a crowd to storm the halls of Congress and halt election confirmation. by Joe Biden.

Trump’s history of lies and democracy-denying authoritarianism is the biggest obstacle to his success. But Trump’s success story, despite his seemingly insurmountable responsibilities, suggests only fools would count him out for 2024.

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