As tens of millions of Americans go to the polls in midterm elections today, Donald Trump was looking two years ahead.
At a late evening rally in the bracing cold of an Ohio airport, the former President said he would make a special announcement on November 15, a week today.
It was clear to us and to his dedicated band of loyalists on the tarmac what this means: America needs to brace for the divisive spectacle of another Trump presidential campaign.
The timing makes sense for Trump, even if it upstages his own party. He hopes that Republicans do well in the midterm elections today and win control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He will take the sole credit for any success.
Former President Donald Trump said he will be making a “big announcement” next week as he teased a third presidential run while campaigning in Ohio on the eve of the final day of voting in this year's midterm elections.
He knows that many of the Republican candidates are loyal to him and will be in his political debt. After all, many of them won their primary contests because of the power of his endorsement.
By next week he can regain what he seeks the most - the national political spotlight. Trump will begin a two-year quest to vanquish his party rivals, his media critics, and the Democrats.
His techniques are familiar: a huge war chest, along with polarising and relentlessly aggressive rhetoric that intimidates and fatigues his potential rivals for the Republican Party nomination.
There is another reason for Trump to declare so early.
He faces severe legal jeopardy from a range of investigations into his conduct and activities.
It will be much more difficult for the Department of Justice to charge him with a crime once he has declared a presidential bid. Any such move by prosecutors would be portrayed by Trump and his millions of supporters as a nakedly partisan act designed to stop his candidacy. It would risk making him a martyr and could trigger political violence.
So there is political and legal method in the madness to this early announcement.
First, though, he has to hope that Republicans do well tonight and sweep to victory in Congress and in Governorship races. That, he believes, is his springboard to the White House.
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