Issue 269: 2021 03 04: The Son Also Rises

American Bald Eagle in front of flag looking fierce
Eagle Eyed

4 March 2021

The Son Also Rises    

So, do not forget, does the daughter

By J.R. Thomas

One of the advantages in having a large family is that it becomes much easier to start a dynasty, something American voters do seem surprisingly keen on in the White House.  The Adams family (not that one), Harrisons, Roosevelts, Bushs, Clintons (well, close but no cigar).  Could it be the Trumps next?

The media is painting a picture in which Donald will be running again in 2024; so is Donald, telling rapt audiences that the job needs finishing.  His first big foray since that disputed election result (disputed by him) was last week in Orlando, Florida, as he addressed the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference).  There are readers who may not be familiar with CPAC and presume it to be a Trump invention.  Not at all.  It dates back to 1974 when it was founded as a conservative think tank and ginger group within the Republican Party.  Other than a founding speech by Ronald Reagan it kept a low and respectable profile until about six years ago when a keen Republican entryist used it to make his first major speech.  It was indeed The Donald, and he has increasingly used it as a forum for his thoughts and speeches – guaranteed, as he is, an adoring audience.

And he had one this time.  Gathered in restriction-lite Florida, the audience was mostly unmasked and enjoying themselves in the presence of a bronzed and relaxed looking Mr Trump.  And he gave them a classic Trump speech, as he claimed that he won the 2020 election, that the electoral system is being manipulated by the Democrats, and that he wanted to reunite the Republican Party (behind himself, of course).  This show of goodwill did not last long; he then set about those GOP members who had voted for his impeachment or being less than fulsome in their support for his vision.  The Trump grip on the GOP is impressive, and seems to be strengthening.  Those implacable opponents Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, Republican leaders in the Senate and the House, have rowed back considerably from their former anti-Trumpism and are making moderately friendly noises at the ex-President (or President-over-the-water, depending on your leanings).

The biggest relief of all though was probably to his Washington party leaders when Mr Trump confirmed he would not be starting a new political party; a relief because at the moment even those in the party that oppose another run-out with Donald  (a lot more than perhaps appears at the moment) would prefer to have him in the tent doing outwards what is done, rather than him outside the tent doing it inwards.

These are very early days yet.  The next election could be tricky for the Democrats who will almost certainly need a new leader, Jo Biden being by then 82.  On the face of it that will be Kamala Harris, his Veep.  Ms Harris is keeping her head well down at the moment, dealing apparently with delivery and technical issues.  But as the months pass, expect the Vice President to start to formulate what a Harris Administration might think and dream and set out to do.  Which is where things might start to get tricky, as Kamala has to bring together the working class rust belt bits of the party won back from Mr Trump (sorry, Mr T, “stolen from”), rich Californian professional groups, ethnic groups in the south and west, the extreme left (not just Bernie Sanders in Vermont).  Joe did this by, mainly, not being Donald Trump.  A lot of folk voted for him for that reason.  If Donald is around at the next Presidential contest, then Ms Harris may be able to pull the same trick.  If not, if the Republicans have some new younger, calmer, more coherent, leader, even if they adhere at least on the surface to some of the Trump ideology, then America may revert to its suspicion of leftism.  We have seen, even under Mr Trump, the continuing rise of the Hispanic and black Republican voter, the switch of the poor white working class vote from Democrat to Republican.  Add to that, rich professionals who may not want to admit to rightest leanings but even less want to pay high Democrat taxes.  Then, perhaps, in four years, consider an administration which has struggled to revive an economy whilst over-spending on an ambitious social programme and on foreign military adventures, and allowed increased south-western immigration on a significant scale.  That is not going to be an easy ticket for any incumbent candidate.

Which brings us back to the Trump dynasty.  By the time of the next Presidential tussle, the ex-President will be 78.  He looks in great health and full of vigour, and that is the same age as Mr Biden now.  But does Donald really want to spend the next four years rushing about shaking hands (metaphorically), making friends, and raising money?  If we know anything about Mr T. it is that he easily gets bored and moves on.  But supposing Donald Junior or Ivanka or even Eric wanted to run in honour of Dad?  Perhaps not Eric, but Ivanka might fit very nicely in Donald’s shoes, having worked closely with him in his period of office, and having a good way with people, humour, and being (by all accounts) a quick thinker.  One problem maybe, she was registered as a Democrat until 2018, though had supported both Democrat and GOP candidates and causes (including a Ms H Clinton) over the previous fifteen years.  But that’s just like dad, and is a good base for a wide appeal.  If not Ivanka, how about Donald Jr?  He has spent less time than his sister actively engaged in political life in the last four years – he has been running the family business interests, not without suggestions of incompetence and conflict of interests, and like his sister donated to that mysterious Ms Clinton.  But the Trump ambition runs strong in him and he has dropped several little hints that if called upon in 2024 he might be available.

Those sitting in the Senate and House have worked all this out of course.  Now is not the time to make any dramatic moves – there is after all no job vacancy yet, and the mid-terms for Congress will be tricky for the Democrats simply because there are a number of seats that are Republican marginals currently held by Democrats.  For the time being unity is all, together with patience, and as Harold MacMillan wonderfully said “Events, dear boy” – when asked what was most likely to damage governments.  A number of Republican contenders are quietly positioning themselves to take advantage of those very events, whatever they may turn out to be.  Some carefully – Governor Ron DeSantis carefully and cautiously, and Senator Ted Cruz not so carefully given his jaunt to Mexico.  Note the Hispanic angle in both cases.  But if events turned out to bring Ivanka to the top of the pile, there are a number of Republicans who might see that as a winner – with her youth, her sex, dad’s money, her talent, and dad’s blessing that might work.

No wonder Joe Biden is keeping pretty quiet on the matter of his predecessor and his various carryings on.  It must have been a great relief to Joe when the impeachment melted into the Washington snows.  Indeed, he would probably be first in line to nominate Mr Trump for a third run at the top job.  You never know who your friends are, both Presidents must be thinking.





Follow the Shaw Sheet on

It's FREE!

Already get the weekly email?  Please tell your friends what you like best. Just click the X at the top right and use the social media buttons found on every page.

New to our News?

Click to help keep Shaw Sheet free by signing up.Large 600x271 stamp prompting the reader to join the subscription list