Analysis: Here’s *exactly* why Donald Trump will likely run again

Although he started out as one of the former president’s most vocal critics, the Republican senator from South Carolina has become one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress.

How did he do it? By understanding Trump’s psyche – by knowing what drives the billionaire businessman.

That’s why it’s worth paying attention when Graham speaks publicly about what he told Trump privately — as he did in a CNBC interview on Monday.

“I literally tell you what I tell him,” Graham said. “If you lose again, the story of who you are and what you did changes dramatically. If you come back, it will be one of the greatest political comebacks in American history. And if you’re four moreover, you can do great things.”
Remember this: Trump is, at heart, a reality TV producer. He’s always focused on plots and narratives – always on the lookout for compelling angles and people. (Part of how he decided who would make up his original cabinet was whether they looked the part.)

What Graham is selling Trump on then is such a storyline — the idea of ​​the former president as a returning kid. The guy who voters regretted getting rid of four years ago and who now has a chance to right that wrong.

Again, here’s Graham channeling Trump during the CNBC interview: “Remember me? I may not be your cup of tea, but when I was president, our border was secure, we had the lowest illegal crossings in 40 years. I did it.”

This is an argument that will be convincing to Trump. He is – and always has been – deeply invested in the idea of ​​second chances. In 2006, when Tara Conner, who had won the Miss USA crown, was allegedly spotted drinking in bars as a minor, Trump refused to strip her of the crown. (Trump owned the Miss USA event.)

“I’ve always believed in second chances,” Trump said at the time. “She left a small town in Kentucky and she was telling me that she had been caught up in the whirlwind of New York. This is a story that has happened many times before to many women and many men who have come to the Big Apple. They wanted their slice of the Big Apple and they found out it wasn’t that easy.”
While in the White House, Trump signed the First Step Act, a prison reform measure that gave previously incarcerated people a second chance. “We believe that every person has unlimited potential,” Trump said in 2020 of the law. “It is therefore important that we offer former prisoners who have served their time and learned from their previous mistakes the opportunity to redeem themselves through a second chance to become productive members of society.”

There is, of course, a pretty big problem with the whole Graham comeback narrative: Trump still refuses to admit he lost the 2020 election.

“Now that the FBI and DOJ have been caught up in a massive and life-altering election scam, will they change the results of the 2020 presidential election?” Trump asked Monday via his Truth Social website. “They should!!!”

It is, of course, hard to make a comeback when you can’t admit you lost in the first place.

But, at least directionally, Graham is right about what form a Trump 2024 deal would likely take. among the people who voted for Joe Biden to put Trump back in power.