Trump's low-energy reset
Advisers knew former President Trump, bleeding support among Republicans for his wild antics over the past week, needed a reset during last night's 2024 announcement. So the text was deliberately low-key.
The big picture: Trump's delivery was so restrained, even languid, that it was widely derided as "low energy" — Trump's devastating jab at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during the 2016 primaries.
- The tightly scripted, staff-driven speech reflected Trump's weakened position post-midterms. None of the cocky swagger and energy of his 2016 announcement.
This was a nostalgic, glory-days speech — Trump playing the hits.
- He painted an apocalyptic picture of American decline under President Biden.
- But Trump has done this schtick so many times before that he seemed bored by the text.
- It's not unusual for him to be bored by the words in his teleprompter. But his tone was flatter than usual. Even his ad-libs were low energy.
Behind the scenes: Trump advisers had pushed for the more disciplined approach after Trump found himself on the defensive after Republican midterm losses.
- That prompted him to lash out with unhinged attacks on potential 2024 rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
- Jeb Bush Jr. helped his dad get the last laugh by tweeting: "What a low energy speech by the Donald. ... #SleepyDonnie."
What's next — 2024 rematch begins: Trump took on his successor, and possible 2024 opponent, by name.
- "Unlike Biden possibly getting us into World War 3, which can seriously happen, I will keep America out of foolish and unnecessary foreign wars, just as I did for four straight years," Trump said.
- White House press official Andrew Bates tweeted while Trump was still speaking: "Bored? A lot of people are. Read about @POTUS's high energy record!"