Sunday, June 20

Trump returns to the election campaign he never left


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Donald Trump He went to Greenville (North Carolina) this Saturday for the first of the rallies that the former president will give this summer for the legislative elections of next year and of the presidential elections of 2024, which he threatens to present. Seven months after his electoral defeat against Joe Biden, It is unusual to see a former president once again uploaded to the electoral caravan. Trump did so in his usual campaign uniform – dark suit, bright red tie, pin with the national flag – and repeated the usual allegations – and not supported by reality – about his defeat last November.

“The evidence is too voluminous to even mention”said the former president who, indeed, did not offer them. It limited itself to the litany of non-evidenced allegations of voter fraud and praise for attempts to prove the alleged theft – which neither the courts nor its own Department of Justice observed – with audits led by its allies in states like Arizona.

His speech, the highlight of the North Carolina Republican Party convention, had the usual content of his campaign rallies: praise for his tenure as president – «if we had not gotten the vaccine, there would have been deaths as in the ‘Spanish flu’ of 1917»-, defense of his policies – he nostalgically recalled his best moments in the White House – and fierce attacks on the policies of the current president, Joe Biden, – foreign affairs, energy or immigration – on the press, on big technology companies – Facebook just announced that the Trump veto will last at least two years – and China. He demanded “compensation” of ten billion dollars from China for its role in the Covid-19 pandemic -whose effects on the US were key in his electoral defeat- and vilified Anthony Fauci, the US medical authority on coronavirus, with whom he had obvious disagreements as president and who has become the target of criticism from the Trump-like media.

Much of the content of his speech could have been heard at any campaign rally last year. What was different was Trump’s energy, away from the spotlight for months, forcibly removed from social media and unable to influence the political debate as before. A more languid former president was seen, without the electricity that could be expected for his return to the electoral arena.

But the former president did show what his power is from now on: he staged his importance as a strong man of the party for the primaries before the legislative elections next year. In the middle of his speech, he invited his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who sounded like a possible Senate candidate from North Carolina, to take the stage. “I say not for now,” announced the wife of Eric, the second son of the president, moments before the candidate anointed by Trump, Congressman Ted Budd, took the microphone.

Trump, with great popular support, has the ability to put in and take out Republican candidates and tAll polls place him as the favorite among the electorate to stand in the 2024 elections, in which he will be 78 years old, the same age that Biden is now.

A second presidential adventure after losing a reelection – something that in all of US history only Grover Cleveland achieved in 1892 – is something with which Trump again threatened in North Carolina. “My eyes are very set on 2024,” he told his followers. “We’re going to do things you’ve never seen in your life.”

Despite those promises, Trump seemed more like a candidate from the past, entrenched in false electoral fraud, in convincing – himself and his followers – that he did not leave the November election as a loser. If anyone expected a different message, more focused on how to get Republicans to regain both houses of Congress – lost during his presidency – that one has not yet arrived.

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