President Trump may be the only member of his family to win a major elected post, but his campaign manager for the 2020 re-election effort is already envisioning a family political dynasty that will survive his time in the White House.
Comments from Brad Parscale, Mr Trump’s campaign manager, on Saturday were instantly scrutinized as to whether the president’s children, some of whom were viewed by friends and supporters as potential candidates, were planning their own political futures .
Mr Parscale made the remarks at a California Republican convention in Indian Wells, in a speech that touched the party and the presidency. “The Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades,” Mr. Parscale said.
When asked to explain what that meant, he told reporters in California that he viewed the Trump family as people with “incredible abilities.”
“I think you see this from Don Jr. I think you see this from Ivanka. You see it from Jared. You see it from everyone, ”he said, referring to the president’s eldest son, eldest daughter and son-in-law.
Mr. Parscale declined to comment for the New York Times. But a campaign official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and without official permission to discuss the speech, said Mr Parscale was referring less to possible candidates in the future and more to activities such as speeches. policies and fundraising.
The president and his family have worked aggressively to marginalize or quell any anti-Trump sentiment that remained within the national Republican Party. Whether this influence persists after he is removed from office – and whether the party reverts to its previous form or adopts a new one – remains an open question.
Longtime supporters of Mr. Trump noted that he and some members of his family tended to crave flattery, especially in public places, and attributed Mr. Parscale’s “dynasty” remark to the buffoonery.
Privately, some Republicans – who did not want to fight publicly with the president’s campaign manager – rejected Mr Parscale’s choice of words, noting that the concept of dynastic politics was detrimental to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and that it is not a concept historically favored by populists.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son and the most natural-speaking family member of the Republican grassroots language, has been mentioned frequently as a possible candidate for public office.
In an interview with The New York Times last fall, while promoting Republican candidates for the midterm election, the young Mr. Trump said of a possible road campaign: “In right now I’m focusing on other things, but you you never know. I like the intensity of the campaign. I like the aspects of the fight. I’m not sure yet how much I would like certain aspects of the actual work.
A person close to the young Mr. Trump said he “currently has no interest in running for office” and that his only political goal is his father’s campaign next year. Still, the person added that while young Mr. Trump doesn’t expect to be a candidate himself, he plans to be involved in Republican politics “for many years to come.”
Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, is also seen by West Wing aides and those who have worked with the family as having her own ambitions for an elected post. People close to her insist she has never discussed it, although some of her friends, in private conversations, have been open to the prospect of them seeing her as a future presidential candidate .
“If she ever wanted to run for president,” Mr. Trump told The Atlantic in a recent interview, “I think she would be very, very hard to beat.”
Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, who is actively participating in his re-election campaign, is also mentioned as a possible candidate by some close to the family.
Comments like these make it clear that the Trump family are hoping to expand their influence in the future. And the remarks addressed two lingering questions about the future of the Trumps: Will any of the president’s children run for office, and quietly step aside if they lose in 2020, or finish a second term in 2024?
Even if no other Trump tries to run a campaign, Mr. Trump’s advisers believe he will remain active – on his Twitter feed, in TV interviews and potentially at his own political events.
Few think he will easily step aside, or follow past presidents with a low profile after leaving office.