It’s no secret that Donald Trump is rather fond of his rallies. Unlike jousting with the press, Trump always seems much happier making declarations at events for his base, a demo that’s less likely to take issue with the president’s frequently controversial remarks. According to a new report, Trump will be returning to the campaign trail in a major way in 2018 and it’s something that has America’s two most popular parties analyzing the impact of that plan.
The Washington Post reports that the White House is prepping for a “full-throttle” campaign to feature Trump prominently across the country during 2018’s midterm races. Senior officials indicate that Trump’s aides have met over 100 candidates and that the president is aiming to get involved in Senate, House and gubernatorial races. The White House stresses that Trump campaign plans are not designed as an ego stroke.
“For the president, this isn’t about adulation and cheering crowds,” said White House political director Bill Stepien. “This is about electing and re-electing Republicans.”
According to WaPo‘s report, Trump is convinced that his presence is necessary for his future success in Washington.
The president has told advisers that he wants to travel extensively and hold rallies and that he is looking forward to spending much of 2018 campaigning. He has also told aides that the elections would largely determine what he can get done — and that he expects he would be blamed for losses, such as last week’s humiliating defeat that handed a Senate seat in Alabama to a Democrat for the first time in 25 years.
Trump’s polarizing presence makes him a true wild card for these sorts of races. Trump doubling down on his endorsement of Roy Moore highlighted the fractures within the GOP and raises a number of questions of how Republicans will respond to campaign mode Trump’s presence in 2018. Meanwhile, Democrats appear bullish on the prospect of using Trump’s presence against him.
“He absolutely is turbocharging the opposition. My guess is most of the people running for office in 2018 are not going to want to cleave too closely to him,” said David Axelrod, former chief strategist for Barack Obama. “He torques up both sides, but he torques up the opposition more. He is the greatest organizing tool that Democrats could have.”
With both Trump’s shocking 2016 victory and Moore’s humiliating 2017 defeat on the table, there’s nothing guaranteed in the world of modern American politics.
(Via Washington Post)