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Trump Marks One Month of ‘24 Bid With ‘Major Announcement’ – for Digital Trading Cards | Politics

Former President Donald Trump marked one month since he announced a presidential bid by teasing another “major announcement” this week.

But after weeks punctuated by rebukes from his own party, the auspicious rise of perhaps his most serious rival and multiple comments in recent weeks that have threatened to alienate even his adoring base, the announcement on Thursday had nothing to do with his presidential run.

Instead, he shared new digital trading cards available for purchase.

“Only $99 each!” Trump wrote in the announcement on Thursday from his social media platform, alongside an image of the former president dressed as a superhero and the recommendation that they would make “a great Christmas gift.”

Other politicians have made money from business ventures as candidates – for example, by promoting books that often expound on their platform, their policy or their biography as they work for name recognition and distinction. But the former president has not struggled with exposure, and his latest product does little to quell the skepticism of long-time critics who believe his principal motivation even in politics is profit.

Political Cartoons

The playing cards are not associated with the Trump campaign, the website carefully notes in its frequently asked questions. With what the website says is a “strict maximum limit” of 100 cards per buyer – 45 of which guarantees a ticket to a dinner with the former president – the $99 cards depict Trump in a variety of cartoonish costumes, from superhero to astronaut to athlete – while taking generous liberties with his physique.

And the timing of the announcement and the urgency with which Trump promoted it made it appear as if the disclosure would be political in nature, sparking questions over whether he’d confirm rumors of a long-shot bid for speaker of the House or perhaps highlighting an upcoming rally.

Just last month, Trump became the first candidate of either major party to declare his intention to run in the presidential election, still two years away, on Nov. 15, teasing the “very big announcement” ahead of the midterm election. Although Trump was well positioned to project his message into the campaign season against potential challengers – backed by universal name recognition, a loyal base, his own social media platform and a massive warchest – his position following a poor showing for Republicans in the midterm elections has appeared to shift dramatically.

Many within his party have criticized Trump himself for the failure of the expected “red wave” to materialize, citing the poor performance of many Trump-endorsed candidates. The last sting of those losses came just last week, as Herschel Walker, a Trump-backed candidate and personal friend, lost in a Georgia runoff for the final Senate seat.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has not yet launched a 2024 bid but polls show to be among Trump’s foremost GOP challengers, has enjoyed a favorable spotlight in recent months, while Trump’s support has tumbled – suggesting that even some of the most conservative Republicans still support Trump’s message but are growing tired of his antics.

Indeed, DeSantis soundly defeats Trump in a hypothetical, one-on-one Republican presidential primary contest, according to a poll by The Wall Street Journal released Wednesday – 52% to 38%. A USA Today/Suffolk poll a day earlier showed Trump’s support among Republicans had dropped from 75% in October to a paltry 64%.

Adding to Trump’s troubles in recent weeks was a pair of scandals, including a dinner with the rapper Kanye West, known as “Ye,” who has made virulently anti-Semitic comments, and Nick Fuentes, described by the Justice Department as a white supremacist. Trump also made headlines by posting online that parts of the Constitution should be abolished to correct what he claimed was widespread election fraud in 2020 and return him to office.

“Anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution should somehow be suspended or not followed seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as the president of the U.S.,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters last week, after just one week earlier declaring that “there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy” and questioning Trump’s fitness for president.

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