When this tweet from Matt Drudge came whipping around the political world this morning, lurid fears arose in countless quarters:
In the desensitized news environment of the Trump era, what would merit the term “shock announcement”? War with North Korea? A Mueller or Rosenstein firing? A purge of White House staff, with Hope Hicks now in charge of everything? Minds reeled.
But then came the actual story:
**WORLD EXCLUSIVE** TUE FEB 27 2018 10:05 AM ET** Just one year into his presidency, Trump will stun the political world TODAY by announcing he is running for re-election in 2020. Digital guru Brad Parscale will be named campaign manager, DRUDGE REPORT has learned… MORE… The bold move comes 980 days before Election Day, a historical record.
Sorry, Matt, but this news does not “stun the political world,” or at least the portion of it that never bought into the theory that Trump was bored and disillusioned with the presidency and would want to go back to Mar-a-Lago or reality TV in 2020. Even if the 45th president doesn’t enjoy the rigors of governing or misgoverning the country, he seems to like campaigning for the job just fine, as witnessed by his frequent campaign-style rallies while in office (which seem to operate as a combination safety valve for his rage and a source of regeneration), his reelection fundraising (his 2020 committee has $22 million in the bank), and his continuing obsession with his standing in the polls. Two days before his inauguration, Trump wanted the world to know he already had a reelection slogan picked out (“Keep America Great,” though he wasn’t sure whether or not it would include an exclamation point). Drudge himself reported last month after dining with the president that Trump was rarin’ to go for 2020.
The naming of Parscale as 2020 campaign manager is more interesting, and lends credence to the theory that Team Trump believes the social-media effort the previously obscure Texas data geek led (with or without some outside help from certain vodka drinkers) was its “secret weapon” in 2016. But then as Trump’s own 2016 campaign showed, campaign titles like “manager” are often misleading and also tend to change quite often. According to an interview last October, Parscale had already been working on the reelection campaign back then. So it makes sense he’d be in a central position at this early juncture.
All in all, Drudge’s big scoop is a nothingburger. But it probably did spoil the morning for people hoping against hope that the Trump era might end without the necessity of watching another Trump campaign roll through millions of nightmares.