Politics? Golf? Media? What’s next for Donald Trump

Published on Jan 20, 2021 07:06 PM IST

Before the Capitol riot, it looked like Trump would remain the apple of the eye of the Republican Party or at least a kingmaker in the GOP. But January 6 changed all of that for him.

President Donald Trump salutes as he boards Marine One with First Lady Melania Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.(AP)
President Donald Trump salutes as he boards Marine One with First Lady Melania Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.(AP)
Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni

In a presidency which was marked by a departure from the norm, life after the Oval Office for Donald Trump may also not adhere to the patterns of most ex- presidents. While most ex-presidents spend their time out of office playing golf, making a few public appearances, well-paid speeches, writing lucrative memoirs, Trump’s post presidential options are hardly clear. But the January 6 US Capitol riots will continue to define not only his time in the office but also his time after.

Will Trump stay in politics?

Before the Capitol riot, it looked like Trump would remain the apple of the eye of the Republican Party or at least a kingmaker in the GOP. But January 6 changed all of that for him. Trump also leaves office with only 34 per cent job approval ratings showing how massively unpopular he is. The Captiol riots also changed the Republican party as 10 members of the party crossed party lines and joined Democrats in impeaching Trump. Corporate US also seems to be wiping itself off Trump by suspending or stopping campaign contributions to candidates who supported Trump’s challenge to the election results. But the populist tone of the Trump presidency will remain a force to reckon with for the Republican party.

Read more: How world leaders are reacting to Joe Biden's inauguration

What will Trump do without social media?

After being de-platformed from social media, Trump will need to find ways to reach his base. The official Trump 2020 mobile app that was used to register rally attendees and for direct messaging during the campaign, was downloaded 2.6 million times in the last year. But it remains to be seen how Trump interacts with his base.

What about the Trump organization?

Trump’s divisive politics have inevitably impacted his New York based real estate, hotel and golf empire. Trump properties have also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic along with the rest of the real estate, tourism and leisure sectors. Trump’s company already carries $1 billion of debt, much of which he's personally liable for and refinancing the same would be hard after the Capitol riot. So going back to the Trump organization will also be a tough call for the outgoing president.

Read more: National Mall lights up for Americans unable to attend Biden's inauguration

Will we hear Trump say, “You’re fired” on Apprentice?

With his apparent love for the media, Trump is expected to pursue media opportunities of some kind like other ex-Presidents, whether a book deal, a lucrative role at a news channel or his own media venture. Rumors of Trump discussing an “Apprentice” revival with show creator Mark Burnett have cropped up periodically during his time in office. But Trump’s return to network TV is highly unlikely although he could find a place in the conservative networks.

What about retail business?

Like his daughter Ivanka, Trump could get into the retail business, but as far as mainstream customers go, that ship likely sailed a long time ago. Though the family hasn’t declared any intention of expanding their retail business, the Trumps still hold live trademarks for products ranging from infant beddings to coffee to greeting cards.

Although, all of this will depend on Trump’s ability to dodge the legal threats that pre-date the election. Justice Department policy shielded Trump from federal prosecution as a sitting president, but the incoming administration could revive all those cases. Trump's personal conduct is also under scrutiny in a number of civil cases. And then there's the Capitol riot. No matter what path, Trump chooses, his legacy will be defined by the Capitol riots. How he would turn that around, only time will tell!

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