Barack Obama Is Also Scared Shitless That Donald Trump Could Win Another Term: Report
In a normal society, a former president—let’s call him Donald Trump—who’s been indicted three times in under four months, on charges ranging from obstruction of justice to conspiracy to defraud the United States, would have absolutely no chance of ever being president again. It straight up would not be a scenario anyone would have to even contemplate; even if this individual were not in prison, the idea that they would be able to run for and win higher office once more would not compute.
But unfortunately, we don’t live in a normal society; instead, we live in a place in which millions of people not only still support Donald Trump, but grow fonder of him with every new criminal charge. Which means that, despite the aforementioned indictments*, the twice-impeached, thrice-indicted ex-president is dominating every other candidate for the Republican nomination, and currently looks to be the most likely GOP nominee in the 2024 general election. That, of course, scares the shit out of a lot of people—including, apparently, one Barack Obama. Whose fear, it has to be said, is extremely unsettling!
The Washington Post reports that during a private lunch with Joe Biden in late June, the 44th president “voiced concern about Donald Trump’s political strengths—including an intensely loyal following, a Trump-friendly conservative media ecosystem, and a polarized country—underlining his worry that Trump could be a more formidable candidate than many Democrats realize.” According to people familiar with the conversation, “Obama made it clear his concerns were not about Biden’s political abilities, but rather a recognition of Trump’s iron grip on the Republican Party.”
Obama’s concerns are certainly warranted: In a New York Times/Siena poll released on Monday, Trump led his closest competition, Ron DeSantis, by a whopping 37 points. An even wilder data point that seems to validate Obama’s fears was that Trump beat DeSantis even among Republicans who believe he committed “serious federal crimes.” To be clear, that means these people believe Trump is a criminal, and want him to be president anyway.
As FiveThirtyEight optimistically notes, should Trump be convicted before November 5, 2024, voters might be less inclined to cast a ballot for him, and presumably they’d be even less so if he’s sentenced to time in prison. (In the case of the most recent indictment, two of the charges carry up to 20 years behind bars, and compared to her colleagues, the judge assigned to the case has imposed the toughest sentences for January 6 defendants.) Though, who knows!
As for a potential Trump-Biden rematch, another Times/Siena Poll poll published this week put the two in a tie, with each receiving 43% of the vote—which, for people who think democracy is worth preserving, is pretty pants-shittingly scary.
In somewhat happier news, Obama reportedly promised at the same June lunch “to do all he could to help the president get reelected.” And in a statement, a spokesman for Biden’s campaign told the Post: “President Biden is grateful for his unwavering support, and looks forward to once again campaigning side-by-side with President Obama to win in 2024 and finish the job for the American people.”
*And everything else!
Mike Pence giveth and Mike Pence taketh away
Yes, he tweeted yesterday that “anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President,” but then he basically suggested today that Trump was just listening to his lawyers’ advice when he tried to overturn the election—which, coincidentally, is a defense Trump is reportedly planning to use.