Donald Trump is bringing a strong game to most of his opponents as of late. Looking at the immediate scenario, he’s pulled off one amazing public relations/legal coup. However, there are warning signs for 2024.
Specifically, Trump has just played a brilliant round against Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg. Last week Bragg’s office said Trump “created a false expectation” of an upcoming indictment.
Was an indictment on the way but Trump, using “combat tactics”, as this writer recently predicted, got ahead of the story and stirred up such a fuss that Bragg backed down? It’s beginning to look that way.
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Reports of dissention inside Bragg’s office, a terrible case, and a worry that a shoot and miss trial would only embolden Trump decided the issue. But Trump wins either way. No indictment and he’s exonerated without ever entering court on these charges. If an indictment does comes down it is remarkably tainted and just fuels the Trump martyr narrative which is catnip to his followers.
Trump hit a homer on that one. But a recent swing against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was a big whiff.
Fox, “During his Saturday campaign event in Waco, Texas, Trump argued that DeSantis had little chance of becoming Florida’s governor without the former president’s endorsement, with Trump breaking into an impersonation of DeSantis allegedly begging him for his support in the state’s 2018 Republican primary.
‘So, he came, and he really wanted [my endorsement]. I said, ‘You can’t win, can you? How do you – can [you] win?’ Trump said, recalling the alleged conversation with DeSantis. ‘Sir, if you endorse me, I’ll win. Please, please, sir, endorse me,’ Trump continued as he acted out a crying, begging voice.
While similar jabs against political opponents have been a hit with Trump’s crowds during past rallies, those in attendance were noticeably more silent as Trump took aim at DeSantis…the reaction of the crowd was much more silent than when Trump went after other targets, such as the mainstream media.”
Now that was a typical Trump performance. Schoolyard taunts, impersonations, exaggeration. It has worked wonders in the past and cleared the field of his Republican primary opponents in 2016. But now, in front of a crowd of supporters in a deep red state, the old act didn’t go over so well when targeted against Ron DeSantis.
Is the magic gone? Has he lost his touch? No, not in front of his acolytes when it comes to most targets. But as DeSantis is his likely most serious challenger for the Republican nomination, that Texas reaction does not bode well for Trump. It says that a good number of current Trump supporters are fond of DeSantis and may be open to poaching by a DeSantis presidential campaign. That possibility won’t stop the Trump show. He’ll double down on his usual shtick regardless of the fallout. Which is, exactly what DeSantis wants him to do.
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