Trump family intends complete takeover of power
Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump are among Republican voters’ top picks for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, according to a new poll. Forty per cent of respondents to the survey by news site Axios and Survey Monkey wanted the vice-president, Mike Pence, to be the Republican nominee in 2024, whether to succeed Donald Trump in the Oval Office or to take on a Democratic incumbent if this year’s race is lost.
Twenty-six per cent wanted Nikki Haley, formerly governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the United Nations under Trump.
But 29% plumped for Donald Trump Jr, a regular surrogate for his father despite nominally being separated from the political side of the family by joint control, with his brother Eric, of the Trump Organization.
Ivanka Trump, with her husband, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser in the White House, was supported by 16%.
Donald Trump Jr recently published a political book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us. It was a New York Times bestseller, if surrounded by questions about Republican efforts to help it, and the tour to promote it attracted sizable crowds, if not uniformly adoring.
Reviewing the book for the Guardian, Lloyd Green said it was “a better campaign biography than most” and was “best viewed as the opening salvo of the Trump child with real political chops”.
The president’s oldest child, Green wrote, “truly connects with the party’s base” and “is convention speech [in 2016] warranted the attention it received”.
“Bottom line, come 2024 Don Jr could well be on the ticket.”
Like her father before 2016 and her brother now, Ivanka Trump has never held elected office. But she has been reported to have political aspirations.
In his blockbuster White House exposé Fire and Fury, for example, the journalist Michael Wolff said she and Kushner had made a deal: “The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton: it would be Ivanka Trump.”
Often portrayed as a liberal and restraining influence on her father, Ivanka Trump has claimed success over paid family leave for federal workers and federal sentencing reform.
She has also represented her father on the world stage, to widespread criticism and occasional apparent mockery from actual international leaders.
The Axios/Survey Monkey poll noted that younger Republican voters tended to back the Trump children while older respondents favoured Pence and other national figures.
Other leading Republicans who scored respectably included the Florida senator Marco Rubio (15%), US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (13%) and Texas governor Greg Abbott (13%).
Pompeo seems headed for the Senate in Kansas, a prelude to an expected White House run. Rubio has run for the nomination before, in 2016, when he was briefly seen as a leading contender before Trump blew him out of the water.
Many observers now think the Trump takeover of the party of Lincoln makes a family succession more likely than not.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times last month, the Republican strategist and Trump critic Rick Wilson said: “I honestly think Don Jr or Ivanka will be the nominee in 2024 … because the party doesn’t care about any of the issues that used to drive the party. Now they care about Trump.
“I don’t think the party has any shot at recovering from Trump,” Wilson added. “I think someday there will again be a centre-right economic and individual liberty conservative party again. But I don’t think it’ll have a Republican brand.”
The Axios/Survey Monkey poll was conducted immediately before Donald Trump was impeached.
In that sense the president remains in constitutional limbo, neither convicted and removed nor cleared. The Democratic-controlled House is withholding the articles of impeachment it approved last month, seeking concessions from Republicans who control the Senate over the rules of the president’s trial.