Thanks to the 22nd Amendment that was ratified in 1951, everyone knows that a President can only serve two terms. But how often can someone be on the ballot to run for President? As often as he or she can get on the ballot – and the candidate’s name doesn’t have to appear on the ballot of every state.
The guy who is usually considered the most prolific Presidential candidate in that respect is Harold Stassen, the former Governor of Minnesota, who tried to get the GOP Presidential nomination nine times, beginning with a strong but ultimately failed primary campaign in 1948.
But while Stassen was a perennial candidate in the GOP primary campaigns, he never actually got his name on the ballot in a general campaign.
That honor, being a national campaign candidate for President, belongs to Norman Thomas, who ran for President as the Socialist Party candidate six times.
Want to run for President? Incorporate in any state, then follow the rules for becoming a political party which usually involves getting a bunch of people to sign a petition which you can easily do by standing in front of your local Stop & Shop for a couple of days. Once you have the required signatures, you can then list your party and your candidate on the state ballot and now you’re in the race!
Want to run in more than one state? Do the same thing in a bunch of states. Generally speaking, the rules are more or less the same except in a few states like New York where the two major parties make it next to impossible for any other party to run a campaign.
And by the way, as long as you don’t solicit or collect donations, you don’t have to file with the Federal Election Commission at all, you don’t have to file quarterly financial reports, you don’t have to tell anyone how much you plan to spend on your campaign.
Maybe you won’t spend anything. Maybe you’ll only get one vote. I knew a guy who ran for the State Assembly in Massachusetts and lost the election by one vote. When he came home that evening and informed his wife and voting-age daughter that he wouldn’t be going to Boston because he didn’t pick up just one more, goddamned vote, the two women stared at each other and then his wife said, “Was this the day we were supposed to go and vote?”
Oh well, oh well, oh well. It’s a true story, by the way.
I don’t think that Trump ever cared whether he won or lost in 2016, ditto in 2020. Trump was building a brand which means getting as many people as possible to buy all the drek you sell on your website, at those rallies and everywhere else.
Every week or so there’s another story about how Trump screwed up this investment and that product and the other real estate deal. But that’s the whole point of building a brand. Either it works or it doesn’t work but the point is to keep coming up with new product ideas.
Did the Ford Motor Company give a rat’s damn when the Edsel didn’t sell?
Think Trump doesn’t put a buck in his pocket every time someone puts down a Jackson to buy that stupid, MAGA flag? Think again. Trump’s the first Presidential candidate who ever copyrighted a campaign logo which means ‘thank you, please keep the change.’
Or better yet, donate the change to my campaign.
Let’s not forget something else. Trump doesn’t need the GOP to run for President. The GOP needs him to either head the ticket or graciously support someone else.
But why shouldn’t Trump run every four years, particularly when between elections he can tell his market they need to keep supporting his brand because the election’s been stolen from him again?