Editorial | Trump says he's running

Editorial | Trump says he's running

President Donald Trump has once again embraced the unconventional — setting a new record for making the earliest announcement of re-election plans.

In another move sure to get under Democrats' skin, President Donald Trump announced last week that he's running for re-election.

He didn't make a big thing of it, as he usually does. But Trump made his intentions clear when he announced that his 2016 campaign digital adviser, Brad Parscale of Texas, will be his 2020 re-election campaign manager.

Trump's announcement caught politicos in both parties off guard. But what's new about that? He has his own timetable for everything.

But with the 2018 elections eight months away, GOP officials are more interested in what's happening now — this year — than what's happening two years from now.

Trump's announcement sets the new record for early campaign announcements.

Although incumbent presidents, generally speaking, run for re-election, they usually don't make it official until late in the third year of their first term.

In Trump's case, he reaffirmed last week what he made clear on Inauguration Day 2017, when he filed the paperwork required to organize his re-election committee and then held his first campaign rally on Feb. 18, 2017.

Frankly, it would be far better if political campaigns were shorter instead of longer.

The state of Illinois is Exhibit A for the proposition that our election campaigns are too long.

The party primary will be held March 20 while the general election won't be held until November.

It would be far better if the primary election was held in May or June. That way candidates wouldn't have to file late in the preceding election year, giving potential candidates more flexibility to respond to events that have an impact on voters' moods.

It might even provide more time for state elected officials to devote to taking care of the public's business rather than devoting their energy to their political business.

There's a lot to be said for less partisanship and more statesmanship.

But it seems the die has been cast. The powers-that-be in Illinois like an early primary season because it makes it easier for them to manipulate the political process.

At the federal level, longer campaigns either suit candidates' needs — former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter shocked fellow Democrats when he announced two years in advance — or their style — Trump is unique in that flamboyant respect.

But since nothing succeeds like success — both Carter and Trump won the first time out — look for politicians to mimic their approaches. Of course, Carter lost his bid for a second term and the controversial Trump's popularity numbers are flagging. Still, just the thought of a new and effective tactic is enough to make most ambitious pols start drooling.

That's why voters likely will have to grin and bear it when more and more candidates decide to visit early and stay late.

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DEB wrote on March 07, 2018 at 9:03 am

Fake News. Yes, he did announce a campaign adviser. But he opened his re-election campaign for 2020. began holding campaign events, and officially began raising money on January 21, 2017, the day after he was inaugurated. That makes it more than a year since he officially declared, as the legal/techical declaration is when you open the committee for fundraising, not the day you make an announcement or hold a press conference. 

Granted, part of his reason for declaring on January 21 was strategic. Unlike a president, a candidate can restrict who attends events to just his supporters. And Trump hates it if the crowd isn't wildly cheering, and hates it even more if people attend who offer peaceful protests (and, of course, violent protests, though I feel he is both right and justified in regard to not wanting violent protests; nobody should have to put up with that).

That said, I think as president he should have more "public" appearances. All but five of his speeches/appearances that the press refered to as "public" were actually campaign appearances, meaning he could limit admission to supporters, raise funds at the event (if he desired, but I confess I don't know if he did that except at his golf resorts). I also understand the desire for good TV. As the most hated president in history, surpassing even Lincoln and Obama (I guess he tops them at something), it would make for bad coverage if the crowds did not appear completely crazy in love with him.

But, as this already is longer than I wanted it to be, I'll close by saying that any honest reporter would remember that he declared the day affer inauguration, making his re-election campaign the longest campaign in American history. At least unless somebody soon declares for 2024. Ivanka? Jared? Tiffany? Keep the imperial dynasty rolling.