May 4, 2021

"The social media bans bit hard into Trump’s visibility. But instead of reconstituting his following with the sort of show business flash and sparkle he brought to his White House years..."

"... and the 2016 campaign—rallies, press conferences, televised appearances—the former president spent most of his exile in the minimum security prison that is Mar-a-Lago, where he keeps a vigil over the banquet table, gives half-hearted speeches to tens of supporters about the 'stolen election,' exposes his kissable ring to the lips of supporters and golfs... Trump’s half-hearted attempts at gearing up his movement suggest he doesn’t really care as much about returning to Facebook as he lusts, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, to be a member of a club that doesn’t want him as a member. This half-heartedness informs almost every Trump move since the Biden victory was certified by Congress and the new administration took over. As Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw reported for POLITICO in mid-March, Trump has been adrift during his exile, indecisive, meandering and dawdling. Former CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta put it best by describing the Trump post-presidency as a 'sad old Elvis act,' adding, 'It’s like he’s an animatronic character, spewing out this stuff all over again like he has a string you pull behind him and replace the batteries when they’re low inside.' Trump’s sad old Elvis act has been performed with a limp and a hobble.... Although Trump’s Facebook account was popular... he never extolled it the way he did Twitter. ... Twitter was always Trump’s favorite child... his social media venue of choice. He will welcome Facebook reinstatement, of course, but will consider the honor a runner-up trophy. Twitter made him...."

From "Facebook Can’t Cure Trump’s Chronic Low Energy/It was Twitter that always gave him a reason to get up in the morning" by Jack Shafer (at Politico). 

Facebook's Oversight Board will announce its decision tomorrow morning. Trump could win, but — we're assured — that won't rouse him out of his pathetic malaise. He needs Twitter. He was Twitter. Without Twitter, he's a sad puppet...

An animatronic character, spewing out this stuff... like he has a string you pull behind him.... That's what they're saying he is now, and what he will be... unless he could get Twitter back. But the Twitter decision to oust him — unlike Facebook's decision — is permanent and unreviewable. So pathetic little man running out of batteries he is... unless he isn't.

FROM THE EMAIL: Alexander writes:

Trump is a salesman, and a seducer, and he knows that sometimes the best action is no action. Better to let your target's imagination do the work. Right now wading back into the political fray would only serve to provide a target for his opponents on the left and the right. The left would love to focus attention on Trump and not the nutjobs gaining control of their party, the incompetence of the Biden administration, or the way that blue-run states and cities are falling apart. Meanwhile the Anti-Trump GOP would like the bombastic and controversial Trump out there because it distracts from the legitimate debate going on within the party about whether to embrace Trumpian policies on immigration, trade, etc. It also would overshadow DeSantis and others who have a chance to step up and build their own brands and base of support. Even if Trump runs again in 2024, he will need DeSantis and others to help him win, and to push forward with any agenda.

Plus, after four years in the White House, the man just may want six months of peace and quiet to recharge before he jumps into the fray of the 2022 primaries. That's when we'll see just how much power he wields in his exile.