Dismissing former President Donald Trump chances of winning back the White House in 2024 or writing his political obituary is a “fool’s errand,” says Kellyanne Conway, who served as senior counselor to him in the White House.
Conway made her comments on Friday in an essay for The New York Times.
“Donald J. Trump shocked the world in 2016 by winning the White House and becoming the first president in U.S. history with no prior military or government experience,” she said.
“He upended the fiction of electability pushed by pundits, the news media and many political consultants, which arrogantly projects who will or will not win long before votes are cast.”
And she noted he was able to tap into the “frustrations and aspirations of millions of Americans.”
“Some people have never gotten over it,” Conway said. “Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. There is no vaccine and no booster for it. Cosseted in their social media bubbles and comforted within self-selected communities suffering from sameness, the afflicted disguise their hatred for Mr. Trump as a righteous call for justice or a solemn love of democracy and country.
“The obsession with Mr. Trump generates all types of wishful thinking and projection about the next election from both his critics (“He will be indicted!”) and his supporters (“Is he still electable?”). None of that is provable, but this much is true: Shrugging off Mr. Trump’s 2024 candidacy or writing his political obituary is a fool’s errand — he endures persecution and eludes prosecution like no other public figure. That could change, of course, though that cat has nine lives.”
But Conway cautioned against assuming Trump’s path to the White House in 2024 would be “smooth and secure.”
“This is not 2016, when he and his team had the hunger, swagger and scrappiness of an insurgent’s campaign and the ‘history be damned’ happy warrior resolve of an underestimated, understaffed, under resourced effort. It’s tough to be new twice.
“Unless what’s old can be new again.”
And she added: “Mr. Trump has both political assets to carry him forward and political baggage holding him back. For Mr. Trump to succeed, it means fewer insults and more insights; a campaign that centers on the future, not the past, and that channels the people’s grievances and not his own; and a reclamation of the forgotten Americans, who ushered him into the White House the first time and who are suffering economically under Mr. Biden.”
She noted that winning the presidency is difficult.
“Success lies in having advisers who tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear,” she said, “And in listening to the people, who have the final say.”
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