Trump was supposed to be a political Godzilla in exile. Instead, he’s adrift

By | March 14, 2021

Politico reports:

He backed away from creating a third party and has soured on the costly prospect of launching his own TV empire or social media startup.

His vow to target disloyal Republicans with personally-recruited primary challengers has taken a backseat to conventional endorsements of senators who refused to indulge his quest to overturn the 2020 election.

And though he was supposed to build a massive political apparatus to keep his MAGA movement afloat, it’s unclear to Republicans what his PAC is actually doing, beyond entangling itself in disputes with Republican icons and the party’s fundraising arms.

Ex-president Donald Trump finds himself adrift while in political exile. And Republicans, and even some allies, say he is disorganized, torn between playing the role of antagonist and party leader.

“There is no apparatus, no structure and part of that is due to a lack of political understanding on Trump’s behalf,” said a person close to the former president, noting that Trump has struggled to learn the ropes of post-presidential politicking.

“It’s like political phantom limbs. He doesn’t have the same political infrastructure he did three months ago as president,” added GOP strategist Matt Gorman, who previously served as communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The version of Trump that has emerged in the month and a half since he left office is far from the political godzilla many expected him to be. He was supposed to unleash hell on a party apparatus that recoiled when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and declined to fiercely defend him during his second impeachment. Instead, Trump has maintained close ties to GOP officials who have committed to supporting incumbents, stayed almost entirely out of the spotlight, delivered fairly anodyne remarks the one time he emerged, and offered only sparse criticism of his successor, Joe Biden. [Continue reading…]

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