When Donald Trump first ran for president, he kept saying that he didn’t need politics. It was true and underscored by the fact that he self-financed his primary campaign. That has great appeal to voters.
Six years later, this has considerably changed. While it seems to me that Trump is not enjoying politics how he used to, he absolutely wants to be back in the limelight. And he doesn’t want to lose his place within the Republican Party. His Super PAC has more than 100 million USD in the bank. It’s in everybody’s interest there to keep the (fundraising) operation going.
Confronted with numerous legal cases, Trump’s defense is that it is all a political witch hunt. How could it be a witch hunt if he were to retire from politics? In other words, he has to run in order not to lose that narrative of defense.
Watching his announcement last night, it struck me that there was barely anything new. It’s the same old Trump rhetoric that voters have rejected several times now. Great campaigns may include elements from previous great campaigns, but they should never be a simple rerun. That’s particularly a trap for politicians who have won elections before.