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Trump Is Starting to Run a Conventional Campaign

Normal politicians running for office do things like raise money, hire experienced staff, visit early primary states, and write a platform. Donald Trump is not a normal politician, but this time around he is starting to act like one—in contrast to his previous runs.

The former president has the raising money part down pat, but he is now also starting on the other parts. Trump has hired Susie Wiles, an expert on campaigns (especially in Florida), veteran pollster Tony Fabrizio and policy adviser Vince Haley. More will follow, but these are a solid foundation.

Trump is also starting to make policy proposals under the rubric "Agenda47." He is expected to have proposals for opposing environmental, social and governance investing (i.e., money spent to fight climate change); fighting crime; and boosting the production of American energy. For example, he is expected to propose that any local police department getting federal funds return to the stop-and-frisk policies used in the past and widely condemned as racist. On energy, he would once again take the U.S. out of the Paris accord on climate change and approve all new energy projects (e.g., oil drilling) very quickly. Since Ron DeSantis is surely going to have detailed platform proposals (see above on education), Trump apparently feels he needs some, too. What is unusual here is not in the nature of the platform planks, but that he is making them at all. After all, the Republicans didn't even draw up a platform in 2020. They just said: "We approve of everything Donald Trump wants."

Trump also plans to travel around and hold rallies, especially in early states. He went to East Palestine, OH, last Wednesday to blast the Biden administration for the train wreck there that left poisonous chemicals in the ground and air. More trips are upcoming.

Nevertheless, Trump is not going to become a conventional politician. He will still rant and scream, but behind the scenes he will operate somewhat more like normal candidate than he has in the past. He probably dimly understands that DeSantis is a force to be reckoned with and not the second coming of Jeb! (V)

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