Donald Trump announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024, ending more than a year of speculation.
In an announcement from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, the former president hyped the record of his first term, with his usual mix of brags and fabrication. He even intimated that China may have interfered in the 2020 election because of how tough he had been on the country as president.
Making his run official, he declared "We are a nation in decline," but that "America's comeback starts right now."
Trump has teased an announcement in some form or another since last May, barely three months after leaving office the first time. Many Republicans worried that if he announced before the midterms, it would hurt the party's chances by shifting focus to the controversial candidate.
As if to split the difference, the night before the midterms Trump promised a "very big announcement" a week later. In that sense, it's hard not to judge the announcement in the wake of a midterm election in which his party performed historically poorly, with his hand-picked candidates faring worst of all.
The former president's first term ended contentiously, with Trump insisting that he had been denied his rightful reelection victory. His continuous propagation of myths about election fraud led hundreds of his most ardent supporters to storm the Capitol building in an attempt to delay the certification of Joe Biden as president. To this day, Trump proclaims publicly that the 2020 election was "rigged" against him.
Tuesday's announcement came more than seven years after Trump announced his first run, in which he borrowed a phrase that would soon festoon red hats everywhere: "Sadly, the American dream is dead…But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again." In the same announcement, he proclaimed his opposition to trade deals and his affinity for tariffs, as well as his distaste for immigration from non-European nations—beliefs which unfortunately became policy in his administration. During his announcement, Trump bragged about those policies.
It's anybody's guess what a second Trump administration would look like, and plenty of doomsayers have already been speculating. But it's quite unlikely that Trump 2.0 would be of any particular comfort to libertarians.