onald Trump’s first major rally on Saturday since launching his third presidential campaign was everything that his Republican critics had once claimed would be his undoing.
January 6th, they declared at the time, was supposed to be the end of him. Then it was his fixation on 2020, his various feuds, and his many legal distractions. Finally, it was his elevation of losing candidates in the midterms coupled with his undisciplined campaign launch, both of which raised concerns about his electability.
Trump has made some adjustments, including a new slate of campaign promises tied to the post-presidency culture wars that rivals like Ron DeSantis have focused on. But in general, he’s leaning harder than ever into the cult of personality approach that his foes hoped had run its course with voters — and so far, it’s working.
Before even speaking, he opened with a recording of a song in support of jailed January 6th participants, “Justice For All,” as he and some in the crowd stood with hands over their hearts. In recent days, he has taken to calling for new protests (so far unsuccessfully) and warning of “potential death & destruction” if he’s indicted in one of four active criminal investigations.
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