In case you missed it: In an unprecedented act, Donald Trump filed for re-election on Inauguration Day. Five hours after he was sworn in.
“On the same day that Trump took the oath of office, he submitted a letter to the F.E.C. stating that while he was not formally announcing a re-election campaign, he noted that he met the legal qualifications for doing so. A few days earlier, he came up with his 2020 campaign slogan — Keep America Great! — and called for a lawyer to trademark it in the middle of an interview with The Washington Post.”
It’s unheard of for a president to file in the first two years of their presidency, let alone the first day.
Keeping his candidate status may mean he’ll keep his campaign persona for the next four years. He’s done this so far; appealing to his base and acting in news-worthy, polarizing ways instead of taking productive, long-term action.
Keeping his candidate status also means good things for his wallet. Trump has gotten richer from his own campaign through donated and fundraised money. Politico reports that Trump’s own companies have received “more than $200,000 after Election Day.” The majority of that money was spent on rent for the campaign’s offices in Trump Tower; these offices will remain open with a crew of campaign staffers on hand.
Acting as a “candidate,” he can also continue to fundraise.
“Just yesterday, I received two emails from Donald Trump asking me to give $100 or more to help the President continue fighting. This money is headed to the RNC, which will be undoubtedly used to get Trump re-elected.”
A candidate mindset distracts from the role of president. What’s good for the country is not necessarily the same as what’s good for Trump’s campaign. For instance, collaborating with leaders from across the aisle may get a law passed, but we’ve seen time and time again that the Republican base rejects moderate Republican leaders.
There are also worries that this move gives Trump more “ethical wiggle room.” He could use his candidate status to curry favor with PACs, businesses, organizations, donors and potential donors. This comes in addition to his already questionable business entanglements.
We’re not sure what will happen in 2020, but we know we’ll have President Trump for the next four years. 2020 will certainly be interesting. #Kanye2020, anyone?