The defeat. This is a scenario that Donald Trump had not yet considered until Saturday. Deprived of a second term by the victory of Joe Biden, he will now have to address a thorny question. What will his life be like after he leaves the White House on January 20, 2021? If he regularly evokes his life before politics – “I had such a magnificent life” – he is less talkative about the one after.
His claimed passion for golf could push him to frequent the greens with even more diligence. Just as American television networks announced his defeat on Saturday, he was at his club in Sterling, Virginia, not far from Washington. In the light of the past four years, only one scenario seems difficult to imagine: the discreet withdrawal and anonymity.
Start your own TV channel?
At the time of conversion, Donald Trump could be tempted again by the small screen. If his name as a real estate developer was known in the 80s and 90s, it is the show The Apprentice which allowed him to push the door of all American homes. Co-producer of this reality TV show that he presented between 2004 and 2015, he managed, despite the ups and downs of his real estate empire, to project an image of a strong and charismatic businessman. . In a large meeting room of the Trump Tower, the real estate mogul received the candidates and dismissed one by broadcast, using his phrase that has become ritual: “You’re fired” (“You’re fired!”).
On several occasions since his arrival at the White House, Trump has also deplored the positioning of Fox News, not Trumpist enough for his taste. Viewers “want an alternative now. And me too ! He tweeted a few months ago. 2021 could be an opportunity to get started, either from a blank sheet (but the initial investment could be prohibitive) or from existing “friendly” channels, such as One America News and NewsMax TV.
The courts and the prison box?
Once the White House leaves, Donald Trump’s judicial horizon could darken greatly. In New York, he is the target of two investigations which could each lead to prosecution. The first, criminal and initiated by Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance, targets possible acts of tax fraud, insurance fraud and accounting manipulations.
The second, civil, was initiated by New York State Attorney Letitia James and seeks to determine whether the Trump Organization lied about the size of its assets to obtain loans and tax benefits. Other proceedings may resurface when he leaves 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
A comeback in four years?
If, unlike his three predecessors – Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – he failed to obtain a second term, he did not suffer the rout at the polls that some predicted him. In an election with record participation, he won 70 million votes (against 74 million for Joe Biden) and could therefore be tempted to stay at the heart of the debates. In theory, nothing prevents him from trying his luck again in four years. The Constitution prohibits serving more than two terms, but making two non-consecutive is a possibility.
Mick Mulvaney, one of his former chiefs of staff, now the United States’ special envoy to Northern Ireland, openly mentioned the idea on Thursday. “I clearly expect the president to stay involved in politics and I think he will be one of the people who will likely be candidates in 2024,” he said. Beyond the innumerable political obstacles to be overcome (the “Grand Old Party” could be tempted to turn the page on Trumpism), the question of age could also arise.
A road trip with Melania… or an expatriation?
In the tone both provocative and ironic that he likes, the 45th president in history has mentioned several “leads” in recent months. In June at the White House he had mentioned, in the tone of humor, the possibility of a road trip with his wife Melania Trump. “Maybe I’ll drive to New York with the First Lady. I think I’ll buy a motorhome and travel with the First Lady ”.
On a less romantic note, he stopped a few days ago during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania to admire the trucks parked from a distance. “Nice trucks! Do you think I could climb into one of them and go? I would love that, just drive and cut the road ”. When traveling to The Villages, the largest retirement community in Florida, he had mentioned a more peaceful option. “I will move to The Villages. It’s not a bad idea. I even like it a lot! “.
There remains a more radical option. “I’m not going to feel very good,” he said a few weeks ago, referring to the humiliation he thought would represent a defeat against “Sleeping Joe”. “Maybe I’ll have to leave the country”.