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The Beginning of the End—But Only the Beginning

ROBSTOWN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Former U.S President Donald Trump speaks at a 'Save America' rally on October 22, 2022 in Robstown, Texas. The former president, alongside other Republican nominees and leaders held a ra... ROBSTOWN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Former U.S President Donald Trump speaks at a 'Save America' rally on October 22, 2022 in Robstown, Texas. The former president, alongside other Republican nominees and leaders held a rally where they energized supporters and voters ahead of the midterm election. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 16, 2022 9:48 p.m.

I watched Donald Trump’s special announcement speech last night. I don’t think it was quite as low energy as some have suggested. I’d describe it more as a greatest hits show from an old band. Some have noted that the crowd seemed not always to know when to clap. They were into it but not overwhelmed. This raised a question in my mind. This is not really Trump’s crowd. Trump’s crowd is at those red state rallies. He did himself a disservice by not holding the event at one of those venues. It’s possible that his handlers thought this was a venue where they could keep him more on script. More likely, he’s reacting in a panicked fashion to the DeSantis boomlet and didn’t have the time.

But let’s set the atmospherics aside. I think this is likely the beginning of the end of Donald Trump. But I say this with a different emphasis from most. When I say “beginning of the end” I put the emphasis on “beginning.” There can be a long time between the beginning of the end and the end of the end. I suspect in this case it may play out over a few political cycles.

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