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Kellyanne Conway says it's too early to write off Trump's 2024 chances

By Sarah May on
 January 15, 2023

Though the Republican field for the 2024 presidential nomination has yet to fully take shape, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has stepped forward to suggest that discounting the chances of former President Donald Trump prevailing in the upcoming cycle would amount to a “a fool's errand,” as The Hill reports.

Conway elaborated on her thesis in a recent opinion piece published in the New York Times.

“Nine lives”

In her essay, Conway acknowledges the massive challenges currently facing her former boss, including the specter of numerous investigations, court cases, and a media establishment determined to bury his political fortunes once and for all.

Even so, Conway declares, “Shrugging off Mr. Trump's 2024 candidacy or writing his political obituary is a fool's errand.”

The longtime Trump insider continues, saying that “he endures persecution and eludes prosecution like no other public figure. That could change, of course, though that cat has nine lives.”

That said, Conway admitted to the substantial roadblocks in Trump's route back to the Oval Office, stating, “it would also be foolish to assume that Mr. Trump's path to another presidency would be smooth and secure.”

“This is not 2016, when he and his team had the hunger, swagger, and scrappiness of an insurgent's campaign and the 'history be damned' happy warrior resolve of an underestimated, understaffed, underresourced effort. It's tough to be new twice,” Conway mused.

Proffering advice

Given her past experience as Trump's 2016 campaign manager, Conway clearly felt compelled to offer some advice to the former president on how he might craft a successful campaign this time around.

Conway emphasized the need for Trump to steer away from complaints about the 2020 election process, curtail his attacks on fellow Republicans, and refocus his energies on those she calls “the forgotten Americans, who ushered him into the White House the first time.”

These tactics, Conway suggests, may help defeat “the case against Trump 2024,” which she describes as “some combination of fatigue with self-inflicted sabotage, fear that he cannot outrun the mountain of legal woes, the call to move on, a feeling that he is to blame for underwhelming Republican candidates in 2022, and the perception that other Republicans are less to blame for 2022 and have more recent records as conservative reformers.”

Sign of things to come?

Conway may not be the only one with close ties to Trump who has urged him to take a more forward-looking approach ahead of the 2024 contest, as last month, the former president unveiled an ambitious outline of his plans to fight back against free speech suppression should he secure another term in the White House, as CNBC noted at the time.

Targeting issues likely to strike a chord with a vast swath of the Republican electorate, Trump pledged to take action against government agencies, universities, and Big Tech firms engaged in censorship of ideas as well as speech.

“The censorship cartel must be dismantled and destroyed, and it must happen immediately,” Trump said at the time.

“When I'm president, this whole rotten system of censorship and information control will be ripped out of the system at large. There won't be anything left,” Trump promised.

Putting the issue into a broader, somewhat existential context, Trump added, “If we don't have free speech, then we just don't have a free country. It's as simple as that. If this most fundamental right is allowed to perish, then the rest of our rights and liberties will topple just like dominoes, one by one.”

Field still forming

Trump is currently the only declared Republican candidate for 2024, though speculation has continued to build regarding the intentions of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a host of other GOP notables, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence, for his part, recently explained that with regard to a run in 2024, he and his family are currently “giving it consideration in our house. Prayerful consideration,” and DeSantis was said to have met with a group of top donors in the wake of his landslide re-election victory in November to seriously discuss what the road ahead might be.

Recent reporting suggests that President Joe Biden is currently in the process of preparing the launch of his re-election campaign, potentially setting the stage for a re-match with Trump, and if such a battle does materialize, it remains to be seen whether the former president will take Conway's suggestions on how best to avoid a repeat of 2020.