Modern politics has made a habit of reminding us that assumptions and predictions should be discarded to the past. And yet, assuming the U.S. election goes to Joe Biden, what is next for Donald Trump?
Come January 21st, 2021, Donald and Melania will be evicted from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. and the former President will be forced to confront an uncertain future.
Trump also finds himself in the unenviable though very relatable position of needing to pay the bills. He still personally owes more than $400 million in loans that will be due over the next few years. Meanwhile, the New York Times investigation into Trump’s taxes paints an even costlier picture.
Bottom line: Trump needs to worry about his bottom line.
Typically, post-presidential life is a blessed existence. There are talks to give, foundations to front and memoirs to write. But if Trump has made one thing clear, he doesn’t do typically.
So, what’s next for Donald Trump?
Take Over Fox News
Previously seen as a mouthpiece for the Trump camp, the relationship between the President and Fox News has steadily declined in the lead up to this year’s election.
While Trump still keeps a few favourites, namely Sean Hannity, the right-wing news network has been a frequent target of his Twitter tirades.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
Assuming the gaping hole left by the late Roger Ailes would be the exact type of move a media-savvy Trump might fancy.
Although he would rather…
Start His Own Cable Network
This concept has been floated frequently during the campaign, but the idea of Trump TV has been circulating since the early 1990s.
Variety went hard on the issue back in 2016, reporting that Trump “has become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organisations without being able to take a cut himself.”
Again, this is straight out of the Trump D-I-Y playbook. Simply pick a business – hotels, golf courses, T.V. networks – and slap your name on it.
With Trump TV, Donald would finally reach his end game: complete control of the narrative.
Plus he could probably renew The Apprentice.
In recent weeks the President has started sewing the seeds for his grand departure, telling a packed rally that if he were to lose to Biden, “maybe I’ll have to leave the country.”
"Could you imagine if I lose?" Trump said on Friday. "I'm not going to feel so good. Maybe I'll have to leave the country, I don't know." 😀 pic.twitter.com/9kBzuyu4Mt
— Dil Nisani Magar (@dil_nisani) October 31, 2020
This is like a reverse win for Biden supporters, many of whom also threatened to move overseas if Trump won re-election. Moving overseas seems far-fetched for Trump though, whose unique brand of bullish charm seems tailor-made for the American palate.
Write His Memoirs
Penning memoirs is the most traditional post-Presidential path, and Trump is no stranger to writing. His 1987 business-advice book The Art of the Deal remains a bestseller, though a recap of his tumultuous four years in office would be a stark departure from his previous work.
No doubt a Trump memoir would trigger a profitable bidding war amongst major publishing houses. Obama and his wife, Michelle, famously received an estimated USD $ 65 million advance for the combined rights to their autobiographies in 2017.
Trump probably wouldn’t match that figure, but then again, he probably can’t sink a three like Barack either.
Take A Four-Year Hiatus, Then Run Again
The only thing Trump loves more than the spotlight is proving people wrong. Trump 2024 could become a reality, thanks to the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution, which states that “no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”
However, it does not dictate these two times must be consecutive. This has been pulled off once before by President Grover Cleveland, who successfully ran for office in both 1884 and 1892.