- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2022

The 2024 presidential election is exactly 911 days away, as of Monday. So we have a little time before the genuine political predictions begin about the big bout — oh, wait. Those predictions are already arriving. Pundits, researchers and prognosticators are mulling over their lists of who might throw their proverbial hats into the ring. So let’s join in.

What are the chances that former President Donald Trump will declare his intention to seek the White House once again? Two sources believe he will do it.

Former Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani says signs point to a likely run.



“My instinct is he’s running. I have known him for a long time. I see what he’s doing and how he’s preparing and he sounds to me like a man who is excited about the possibility of running,” he told the New York Post.

He also clarified that Mr. Trump had not “explicitly” revealed any plans. The former New York City mayor — who ran for president himself in 2008 — appears to be familiar with the signs of a potential candidate.

Mr. Giuliani said he was “much more confident than not,” that Mr. Trump will reveal his plans and move forward with his bid to reclaim the White House.

Other Trump watchers have similar expectations. Sen. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012, also appears to believe that Mr. Trump is ready to run and that his supporters are still loyal.

“It’s hard to imagine anything that would derail that support. So if Trump wants to become the nominee in ‘24, I think he’s very likely to achieve that,” the Utah Republican told Politico in a new interview.

Veteran newsman Bill O’Reilly is inclined to agree.

“At this point, Donald Trump wants to run in 2024,” he told NewsMax host Greg Kelly.

“He wants to run and can’t announce it until January 2023 because of campaign finance rules. He has raised an enormous amount of money. I don’t think anyone has raised the amount of money Donald Trump has raised,” Mr. O’Reilly noted.

Should Mr. Trump seek the office again, he’ll join a very crowded field, however.

At this juncture, there are 32 “potential” Republican candidates who could jump in for the 2024 bout — and 28 “potential” Democratic candidates who also could join the fray. So says an updated list compiled by Ballotpedia.org.

The meticulous research group assembled the list based on those who have been actively discussed as potential presidential contenders in national media outlets.

CLASH OF THE TITANS

Should President Biden and former President Donald Trump decide to run against one another, here’s what could happen.

“Each man thinks they could beat the other. But they also may not run — unless the other chooses to do so. The 2024 election begins as a high-stakes staring contest,” predicts Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and now a political commentator and consultant.

“As each camp gears up for a rematch of the bitterly contested 2020 contest, there remains a small hiccup: Neither is inclined to take the plunge first. It’s a game of political chicken that — as described by more than a half dozen advisers to the two men — has largely frozen the field among Democrats and Republicans alike. It is also raising questions about the future health of two parties being led by a pair of candidates who, by that Election Day, would have long ago celebrated their 75th birthdays,” Mr. Anuzis wrote in an analysis released Sunday.

A PSAKI MOMENT

Fox News host Howard Kurtz had a question for outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki in an interview that aired Sunday.

“President Biden the other day called the MAGA movement the most extreme political organization in American history. Have you and the White House and the president decided that with Donald Trump still being by far the most influential Republican, that you’ve increasingly got to take him on?” Mr. Kurtz asked.

Ms. Psaki advised that Mr. Biden was addressing “the impact and the hold that former President Trump has on the Republican Party and the influence and the impact that he has on their policies are — and he wants to use it as a reminder of how these policies can impact people every day.”

But Mr. Biden could do more.

“He’s also not going to hesitate, calling out what he thinks are extreme positions that are out of whack with the mainstream,” said Ms. Psaki — who will leave her White House post next week and become an MSNBC commentator.

“So are you taking on Donald Trump more?” Mr. Kurtz asked.

“We’re taking on what he represents — and what the people who are currently in elected office making policies represent,” Ms. Psaki responded.

THE SCIENCE OF BUG SPLATS

“Counting bug splats on vehicle license plates shows the numbers of flying insects has dropped significantly,” reports the Buglife project, a British charity now working with the Kent Wildlife Trust, a conservation charity.

Both groups are concerned that the population of flying bugs has gotten lower in recent years and have now asked the public to monitor the situation through the use of a specially developed smartphone app.

Participants are asked to “clean their license plates before heading out on a journey in their vehicle and then to photograph and count the number of bugs they found splattered on the plates when they returned,” noted Phys.org, a news site.

Buglife spokesman Matt Shardlow described the findings to the press as “dramatic and alarming.”

The bug splat project will continue through August; details can be found at Buglife.org.uk.

POLL DU JOUR

• 66% of U.S. drivers have or will make significant changes in their driving habits because of the high price of gasoline.

• 62% will cut back vehicle use except for necessary trips like grocery shopping or doctor visits.

• 41% will not fill up their gas tanks, but only put in “what is affordable.”

• 35% will leave their cars home and take public transit.

• 34% will drive to different gas stations to find the best prices.

• 29% have canceled summer holiday travel plans by car.

Source: A Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion survey of 1,392 U.S. drivers conducted April 29-May 1, and released Saturday; respondents were asked multiple questions.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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