he's running?
May 5, 2021

It looks like the Democratic National Committee is getting ready for a possible pillow fight in 2024.

The DNC has "has quietly assembled a core team" that's looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election, and not long after President Biden's inauguration, it "started gathering 'oppo' on over 20 Republican politicians and has identified 49 GOPers who could run," Politico reports.

Evidently, they have their eye on a "wide range of people," not just the possible candidates you'd expect like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), but also "unconventional candidates" — like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

"DNC officials believe social media has made the barrier to entry lower for presidential candidates and that there will be a crowded field again if Trump doesn't run," Politico writes. Fox News host Tucker Carlson is also reportedly one of these "unconventional" candidates the DNC has identified.

Lindell has been repeatedly pushing false allegations of voter fraud in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, and he's even claimed that former President Donald Trump "will be back in office in August." The pillow magnate "has told associates" that Trump "is encouraging him to run for governor of Minnesota" in 2022, Politico reported last year.

Still, a 2024 presidential run by Lindell might appear unlikely, especially given the possibility that Trump himself seeks another term. But even if there's a small chance, it seems the DNC doesn't want to be asleep at the wheel. Brendan Morrow

April 28, 2021

Will former President Donald Trump run for a non-consecutive second term in 2024? He hasn't yet said — but it seems a desire to be the star of every cable news show in America again may be a factor.

A report from CNN on Wednesday described Trump's "unconventional" post-presidency life while touching on the million-dollar question of whether he'll launch another bid for the White House in 2024. One source pointed to a reason to think he might: because he really misses the days when he was the lead story on the news every night.

"He hates being off the A block," a person close to Trump told CNN, referencing the lead segment on a cable news show. "He's really thinking of running again in 2024 just to get back to that."

Trump during a recent Fox News interview said he's "beyond seriously" considering running again in 2024, though he added that it's a "little too soon" to say whether he will. As other Republicans begin to make some early 2024 moves, though, CNN reports some Trump allies are "frustrated" with his noncommittal stance.

"It's important to have a field-clearing exercise sooner rather than later if he's going to run," a former senior administration official told CNN, "otherwise some of these other guys are going to start getting momentum."

It looks like Trump, though, might soon have more of an opportunity for cable news coverage, even if not during the A block. According to CNN, he's looking to resume his MAGA rallies "as early as May." Brendan Morrow

April 21, 2021

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may be set to throw his hat in the 2024 ring — even if former President Donald Trump does, too.

Christie is "seriously considering" running for president in 2024, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing three people familiar with his thinking. The former New Jersey governor previously ran for president during the 2016 Republican primaries, but he ended his bid in February 2016 and backed Trump.

The former governor, according to the report, has been talking up his 2024 potential to friends, telling them he would be the only person in the Republican field with both executive experience and who has previously run for president — in what Axios describes as a "clear shot" at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who's also seen as a serious 2024 contender.

A source also told Axios that Christie "could run on a reputation for toughness that appeals to Trump's base minus the former president's recklessness."

Among the other Republicans who may enter the 2024 primaries include former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Of course, there's also the question of whether Trump himself will run again, a possibility the former president says he is "beyond considering."

But Axios reports Christie has been telling associates that whether Trump does seek a second term wouldn't affect his decision. Indeed, the former governor said in an interview in December that he wouldn't rule out the possibility of once again running against Trump. Brendan Morrow

March 15, 2021

Billionaire Peter Thiel is reportedly getting behind a potential Senate run by Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance.

Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, has donated $10 million to Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC that was formed to support a possible Ohio Senate run by Vance, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The donation was confirmed to the Enquirer by a communications adviser for the PAC; the adviser said the family of billionaire Robert Mercer, who previously supported former President Donald Trump, made a "significant contribution," as well. Protect Ohio Values describes itself as a "network of grassroots conservatives committed to electing a senator who will stand for and defend Ohio's values" and who believe Vance is "the right man for the job."

Vance, a venture capitalist, wrote the 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, which was turned into a Netflix film that picked up two Oscar nominations on Monday. The Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Thiel "was a key backer" of Vance's Narya Capital. Vance previously decided not to run for Senate in 2018, saying it was "just not a good time," but he hasn't said whether he will run in 2022 for Sen. Rob Portman's (R-Ohio) vacated seat.

To put Thiel's $10 million donation in perspective, Recode reported that this is his "largest disclosed political donation ever," and a "much bigger" contribution than the PayPal co-founder made to Trump. Indeed, Bloomberg wrote that if Vance decided to run for Senate this time, he "would be jumping in with a sizable war chest and powerful friends." Brendan Morrow

July 8, 2019

Believe it or not, the field of 2020 Democrats may be about to grow even larger.

Liberal billionaire and impeachment advocate Tom Steyer is reportedly on the verge of announcing a White House bid, having privately told staffers and friends in recent weeks that he plans to run, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Politico report.

This would be a reversal for Steyer, who announced in early January he would not run for president, although he did hedge that he had decided not to do so "at this time," The New York Times reports. Instead, Steyer, who has lobbied for the impeachment of President Trump and has spent millions of dollars on pro-impeachment TV ads, said that he would "do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to remove a president."

The Post reports that Steyer's decision comes as he has "grown dissatisfied" with the field of 2020 Democrats. An announcement could be imminent, as The Atlantic reports that Steyer told staffers he'll officially throw his hat into the ring on Tuesday, although this report notes that since Steyer previously changed his mind about running at the last moment, that's hardly a sure bet. Brendan Morrow

April 4, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a close ally of President Trump, is reportedly weighing a Senate run.

The Florida Republican has told his colleagues he is considering moving to Alabama to run for Senate in 2020, The Hill reports. Gaetz would be seeking to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), the Democrat who in 2017 defeated Roy Moore in a close special election.

According to this report, "people in Trump's orbit" have been encouraging Gaetz to run in the election, noting that in Alabama, you only have to be a resident of the state for a single day before running for Senate.

Gaetz has become a controversial figure for numerous reasons, including his tweet in February seeming to threaten former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen before his congressional testimony. Gaetz wrote to Cohen, "Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she'll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She's about to learn a lot..." Gaetz later apologized for the tweet and said he didn't mean it to be threatening. The New York Times recently described Gaetz "a congressman liberals love to loathe."

Gaetz confirmed to The Hill on Thursday that "a few people" have mentioned to him that Alabama has short residency laws, but he said this is "not something I've looked at myself," saying his "most likely" path is re-election in the House.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) is already running for Jones' seat, and Moore, who during the 2017 Senate race was accused of sexually assaulting or pursuing underage girls, has expressed interest in challenging Jones again, saying last month that he is "seriously considering" it. Brendan Morrow

December 4, 2018

Former Vice President Joe Biden couldn't possibly sound more like he's running for president without literally uttering the words "I'm running for president."

At the University of Montana on Monday night, Biden said he believes he is "the most qualified person in the country to be president" because "the issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I've worked on my whole life," reports CNN.

Biden went on to say that even his critics would "acknowledge" that he knows "a great deal" about the problems plaguing the nation, especially "relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy."

That might all sound like Biden is just seconds away from announcing his 2020 bid, but he stopped short of doing so, saying he has to make the decision with his family and that he'll do so in the next few weeks. "We've got to figure out whether or not this is something we can all do as a family," he said.

When a moderator raised some of the potential concerns about Biden running, including that he would be 78 years old when he took the oath of office and that he's a "gaffe machine," Biden said "none" of these potential liabilities concerns him. "I'm ready to litigate all those things," he said. "The question is what kind of nation are we becoming? What are we going to do? Who are we?"

With talk like this from Biden, who currently leads in 2020 Democratic primary polls, don't bet against seeing him throw his hat in the ring. Brendan Morrow

October 25, 2018

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) appears to be even more disappointed with President Trump than usual.

Kasich told CNN Thursday that in light of Trump's response to the multiple explosives mailed to prominent Democrats and to CNN's New York newsroom, the president doesn't seem to be "capable of being a unifier" and "doesn't know how to accept personal responsibility." The governor, who did not endorse Trump in 2016 or vote for him, was particularly upset that the president had in a tweet placed blame on the media, even though a major media organization received one of the explosive devices.

Kasich suggested Trump take responsibility for his rhetoric. "You rev people up, and what happens?" Kasich said. "Somebody out there who's unstable does something crazy." Kasich did say that Democrats also share some blame for stoking violence but noted that Trump "has the largest megaphone."

During the interview, Kasich also criticized Trump's language regarding the caravan of Central American migrants making its way north, saying Americans should empathize with these migrants because "it could easily have been all of us" in their place "trying to save our families and save our children." Kasich added that "we've got to start putting ourselves in the shoes of other people."

Kasich, whose term ends in January, was asked if he would challenge Trump in 2020, and he did not rule out the possibility, although he said he's still evaluating his next steps. "All options are on the table," he said. Watch a portion of Kasich's interview below. Brendan Morrow

See More Speed Reads