Why is President Donald Trump running for the White House in 2024? In this clip, Glenn reads from a Politico article which tells about 4 former presidents who made new attempts at the presidency before. Those four were motivated by four different reasons: power, boredom, regret, and spite. But Glenn believes there’s a fifth motivation that’s more likely the one for Donald Trump. Listen to the clip to find out what that motivation may be…
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: I want to tell you the story, from the four presidents, who have tried this before.
Politico has a great article by Joshua Zeitz. And he writes about these four presidents, who have run, only one has won.
And they all have really good lessons in them. I'll share that with you, coming up in just a second.
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Okay. There are people that have made multiple -- multiple attempts, multiple tries, at the presidency.
And have failed. Then there's people like Joe Biden who have been running for president, I think since 1916, maybe.
STU: It was not the 1916 race. But he got into 1916, for a later race. 1924. I think he was running for eight good years for that one. Which he then lost. And then he plagiarized someone else's speech.
GLENN: But it was Calvin Coolidge. Didn't have the internet then.
Anyway, Politico writes, whatever -- whether Trump succeeds may depend on his own motivation in running. Will he do it for power?
Out of boredom or regret? Or simply despite the naysayers? The wounded president egos of the past might be a window into the mind of the most polarizing politician of our time. So they go into these four presidents.
And it's important to remember, is he going to do it out of power. Out of boredom. Out of regret.
So 1840. Presidential bid with Martin Van Buren. He ran again in 1848.
He lost the election. He was -- I think it was Jackson's vice president. And then he went on, after Jackson. Jackson said. You should be the president.
And he won the president. And then he lost his reelection bid. And it's interesting, because he was not -- he was a Democrat. And he was clearly for slavery.
And when he got into office, in 1837, there was a once in a lifetime financial panic.
And it triggered a really deep recession. He was now wildly unpopular. So he lost his bid. And then in 1844. Van Buren attempted a comeback. But listen to this. A fiercely contested Democratic Convention, instead nominated James Polk of Tennessee.
An ardent expansionist and proponent of slavery. Remember, it's just the Democratic Party.
Many Van Buren supporters would nurse a long grudge against Southern Democrats for thwarting his comeback. So he's going in, and he loses the bid for the Democrats. So he decides, that he is going to go with his son, who started a third party.
The barn burners. He was indifferent about slavery. And he didn't expect to win. What he was trying to do, was reorder the party. He was trying to use his power, to shift the party and still be the guy who is you know the power player.
He didn't -- he didn't -- he didn't win. In fact, the election went to Zachary Taylor. Because there was a third party.
And so the Wigs took it. And then we never heard from him again.
STU: Not a lot of people were indifferent on slavery, I feel like.
I feel like, that's one you take a position on, either way.
GLENN: I feel like that's a lot of people on abortion. I don't know.
STU: That's true. People look back, you didn't take a position of baby's dying.
GLENN: Wait. They were chopping them up. And you were fine with that.
STU: It was neutral.
Well, Switzerland on that one, huh?
GLENN: So Grover Cleveland was the next one. This is 1888. He's already been president. He's running for reelection.
But he's kind of. He doesn't really care.
STU: He's indifferent on his own presidency.
GLENN: He's indifferent on his own presidency. And so Benjamin Harrison won, and this -- this particular election is very much like what we're facing now. It was very, very close.
And you know you didn't have a lot of swing going one way or another.
So he retires and he goes to New York City. And he plays cribbage with his friends.
He goes to the theater, and he goes out to eat. And then goes out to eat some more. Eventually, he wastes 300 pounds.
STU: I like this guy. Oh, yeah.
GLENN: Then he would take fishing trips to Cape Cod. They would have a hard time with the boat.
Anyway, he has his first child. And he says, anyway, I feel like I just started to live.
So he goes, and starts to get nominated again.
Then he kind of loses interest again. I guess if we would just have put food at the end, he would have.
But he did win.
But he won, because of the tight electoral map. So during his -- the next one is Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt decides he's only going to run two terms. He really regrets that.
And he's like, yeah. Did I say -- I don't think I said that? What did I say?
STU: A lot of people get into power. They really regret that decision, don't they?
GLENN: Right. So he comes back from a year in Africa. You know just shooting animals. What a bastard.
And he's upset, that the conservative Republicans had taken back over.
They were like, yeah, I don't think this administrative state, is really what we should be for. And so he gets very upset about that, and tries to reverse the tide, to be a party of, you know, more like Mitch McConnell. And so the -- the Republicans decide, no, we're against the administrative state.
So he decides to start his own party. Bull Moose Party. He loses. But, again, he lets the progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson get in.
So what do we have here?
The last one is Hoover. And Hoover was a big progressive.
Huge progressive. You notice anything about these things?
He fought to win the Republican nomination after he left office.
He starts to come back. And he wants to come back, I don't know. 1940. And the -- the Republicans, this time. Decide, they want an even more progressive Republican. And so they get Wendell Wilke. And neither one of them win.
So the lesson here is Martin Van Buren's second run.
It was about regaining or retaining power. Not just the power of the presidency. But the lasting control of a movement and party that renders Trump, a defining on the world stage. I personally think he already has that. If he's like Grover Cleveland. And how many games of golf can I play?
And there's not enough all you can eat buffets, because I don't want to weigh 300 pounds.
Then it's his for the taking. Like 1892.
It probably, according to politico, has to do with regret. We know from recent reporting, that Trump and those in his orbit fault themselves for letting the judicial civil service at political class, thwart many of their ambitions.
They relish a second crack at it. And he might be you know a little upset, so -- or might be a little spite. But he won't win.
If it's spite.
I personally think, that it's none of these things.
Because I've talked to him. And in talking to him, he said something that was off camera. But very, very humble. Shockingly so.
And very heartfelt. When I talked to him. He said, I can't believe what they're doing to the country. I can't -- I mean, we had this. We had this. They were on the right track. And they have just destroyed it in less than two years. And he said with be this is the part that I think this is why he's running.
I can't live with myself. Seeing all the millions of faces that I have talked to. And I promised. I would fix it. And stand up for them. After they stood up for me. How am I going to sit down, and watch the country burn to the ground? When I know, I can help them.
When he said, last night, the most important line, this is not my campaign. This is our campaign. I think that's why he's running.