Where could Trump put his? Sometimes universities help host local presidents, like the University of Texas, which LBJ made available for 30 acres on its Austin campus. But it’s hard to imagine that any Trump college, Fordham or Penn, would willingly host its library. Even less controversial presidents have come into conflict with such plans. Duke University turned down Nixon, who received his law degree there. Stanford turned down the Reagan Library. Southern Methodist University faculty and students protested the George W. Bush Library, but the library eventually opened on the University Park campus. While each of these presidents has had its controversies, none has been so badly maligned by any large and diverse part of the country.
Regardless of how the opposition forms, it can be difficult for even the most patient and connected ex-presidents to stand up to and overcome. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Center was delayed for years by opposition from the community in Chicago – the city that started his political career.
Trump also has some challenges that are unique to him. At this point in time, we don’t know if it will run again in 2024. We don’t know if he will start a competitor for Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax. We don’t know if he will try to form a new party or if his party will try to break away from him (although the latter currently seems unlikely). We know that the announcement of a presidential library, center or whatever it is called is a sign of the end of a political career. A keystone. Indeed, a notice of retirement – at least from the search for an office. And Trump has shown little inclination to move himself out of the public eye.
Even if he did, Trump would then Rightly, and according to the laws of the state in which he sets up his foundation, hundreds of millions of dollars must be spent building a traditional presidential library, museum, archive and space for public events, offices of his foundation and whatever other activities he does want to try in such a limited legal and financial environment.
To say the least, Trump has shown little ability to run a legitimate charitable foundation, no matter building a foundation. In his home state, New York, he will have significant difficulties. Under a Court order 2019After Trump “admitted to personally misusing funds at the Trump Foundation,” he agreed to a deal that – if he could convince someone to give them the money in the first place – would be an extremely short leash for any nonprofit organization represents that he could start in this state.
If he’s building a library, Trump probably wants the legitimacy and imprimatur of the federal government, which he was told as a “seal of approval” for his story. He might even want the National Archives to show his exhibits on how “great” he made America (again) and how great the “theft” of his second term was. To do this, the law requires not only to spend the money on the site and construction, but also to collect hundreds of millions of additional dollars – and give it almost unthinkable to the government.
When there is a model for an outsider who breaks the rules like Trump, ironically, it could be the Obama library. But, if anything, Obama’s experience shows how difficult it would be for a character not known for focus or persistence.