TRUTH PUKE’S TAKE: In a recent article, historian and author Niall Ferguson argues that Donald Trump may not be finished politically and that he could still make a comeback as president. He compares American politics to a three-act play, arguing that while Joe Biden is currently in Act II, Donald Trump may still be Act III.
The author argues that the campaign of “lawfare” against Trump may backfire on Democrats and help him to win votes, given his history of thriving on free publicity. Ferguson points to several cases around the world when presidential candidates were indicted but still engineered political comebacks or saw continued success despite ongoing criminal cases against them. For example, Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi.
With Trump’s strong polling position, despite 17 lawsuits and investigations, and a crowded field of candidates for the Republican nomination, including former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence, there is still much uncertainty around the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. The Republican primary process also favors early frontrunners, which has worked in favor of the party in most competitive races since 1972, apart from John McCain in 2008 and Trump himself in 2016.
Ferguson concludes that while it is still early days, there is a failure of imagination among Democratic strategists who believe Biden will always beat Trump or that Trump’s legal troubles will ultimately drown him as a candidate. While much can happen in the next 18 months, he believes that Trump cannot be counted out and only time will tell how Trump’s legal woes and the Republican primary process will play out in the lead-up to the 2024 election.
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