Last week we speculated on what former President Donald Trump might have meant when he told his supporters that he would be returning in some form very soon. On Monday, Trump announced from Palm Beach, Florida that he has opened “The Office of the Former President.”
The office’s stated purpose will be to “[manage] President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing and public activism.” The announcement concludes with, “President Trump will always be a champion for the American People.”
The former president will find that to continue pursuing his agenda will not be an easy task given the virtual social media blackout he was subjected to just prior to President Biden’s inauguration. (Full disclosure: I had my own Twitter account suspended two days after SOFREP published an article of mine that was critical of Trump’s suspension.)
Trump will probably have to create from scratch his own social media platforms in order to get his message out. Alternatively, he could partner with Gab or Parler. Parler itself had its mobile app taken down from Apple’s and Google’s online stores only to then have Amazon remove it from its servers.
Stating that the organization would carry on Trump’s agenda is a departure from the long-standing tradition of presidents going silent after leaving office. With this move, Trump appears to be positioning himself as the leader of the opposition to the Biden administration, presumably alongside the leadership of the Republican Party, while not being subject to that leadership himself.
Shortly after announcing the creation of his organization, Trump issued an endorsement of Sarah Huckabee Sanders who is running for Governor of Arkansas as a Republican. Sanders was his former White House press secretary. In the endorsement, called “complete and total,” Trump praised Sanders for being strong on border protection, crime, the 2nd Amendment, and supportive of law enforcement officers.
The “My Pillow” manufacturer Mike Lindell is considering a run for Governor of Minnesota claiming that he also has — or expects — to have Trump’s endorsement.
Several days ago, Donald Trump had supported Arizona chairwoman of the Republican Party, Kelli Ward, in her re-election to the position where she will serve for a second two-year term. Following her re-election, Arizona’s GOP proceeded to censure Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, as well as former Sen. Jeff Flake and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Both Cindy McCain and Flake had broken ranks with the GOP to endorse Joe Biden for president. Governor Ducey had certified the hotly contested election results in Arizona.
Trump received approximately 74 million votes in the 2020 elections. Most of what Trump would call his own agenda is also the agenda of the Republican Party. Therefore, the Republican Party might ally with him to displace Republican officeholders who had openly opposed him from winning a second term.
Whether he can convert those voters into a committed, grassroots organization, which will draw from Republican voter ranks and make him the kingmaker in party politics, remains to be seen.