In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, Donald Trump has declared his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for the US Presidential election of 2024.
Despite being blamed by many in the Republican Party for costing them in the midterm elections because of his backing for extreme candidates who were not acceptable to the electorate in key races, and despite the emergence of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a credible challenger for 2024, Donald Trump remains the dominant figure in the Republican Party.
He already has a big pot of money (variously estimated at between $70 million and $100 million), and will not be shy about spending it.
He also has been on the road for several months, holding rallies for candidates he supported in the midterm elections. And he is one of the best known, most recognised people on planet earth - and getting yourself known is always the hardest part of being a prospective political candidate.
Plus the Trump agenda is still popular with at least half the country. His claim that more will come over to it as the recession deepens next year may well be the case.
But there are signs that he is not quite as dominant as he used to be, and he will still have to fight for the nomination. He said so himself, in a chest beating display designed to scare off potential rivals, (nine of whom will line up at an influential Jewish Republican group caucus in Las Vegas at the weekend).
Only the timing was slightly in question: after all they haven't quite finished counting all the votes in the midterm elections of 2022 yet.
And then there is the Senate election runoff contest in Georgia, pitting Trump’s handpicked candidate, Herschel Walker, against sitting democrat Raphael Warnock.
Trump urged everyone to vote for Walker "a great footballer who will be an even better senator". Quite a few Republican strategists think he should have waited until after the Georgia election, because his entry will probably make that race a referendum on Trump. Quite a few Democrat strategists are delighted for the same reason, and expect Warnock to gain significant extra campaign funding from small dollar contributors after last night's announcement.
There are plenty of other theories being aired about other aspects of the nomination, especially the timing.
Some think it's a way for Trump to put pressure on the Attorney General and the Justice Department not to prosecute him, particularly over the Mar-a-Lago "raid" and the taking of official papers.
But some former prosecutors have said it makes no difference: a former president does not enjoy special privileges, he is just a former office holder, and therefore a citizen like all the rest, so it won't make any difference. But he can always use the charge of a political witch hunt if the Attorney General does prosecute him.
As for the political offering in last night's speech, well you have heard most of it before - a secure southern border, the greatest economy ever, feared and respected by enemies abroad - but no engagement in "foolish" foreign wars. He will keep China on the ropes, and claimed again that the Ukraine war would not have happened on his watch.
Strength is the key word - he wants to be the strong leader of a strong country with a strong economy and a strong military - covered by a new missile defence shield. His inflation target is 1%.
He is offering a feel-good message of sorts, contrasting it with the current high inflation era of economic miserableness - for which he blames Joe Biden and "far left Democrat lunatics". He predicts things are going to get much worse in the US, and by 2024 the electorate will be ready to vote for him in even greater numbers than they did in 2020.
And speaking of that election, Trump promised to reform the electoral system in the US, which he said was worse than in the Third World. He said only in-person voters with ID could vote on election day, in a polling station, on a paper ballot form, which would be counted only on that day.
But election laws are the preserve of the 50 states, and they all have their own laws for running elections, ranging from the very simple, to the very complex, like Arizona - which is why it takes so long to count: they are not like other states, by design - a design that takes longer to count. It is not the same as a corrupt or inefficient system.
No matter - this is all about pleasing the crowd, the 30% or so of the Republican Party that will follow Trump to the ends of the earth in the belief that he alone can restore common sense politics to the United States, mainly by being rough and direct with the usual suspects - the corrupt elite in Washington DC, the media, that part of big business that does not support his agenda etc.
So will he win? Two years is a very long time in politics (although Trump insisted in his speech it will pass very quickly). Getting in early means he can try and knock out his opponents one by one as they emerge (those that have not been scared off already). He has already started laying into two of his most likely rivals, Ron DeSantis (deSanctimonious) and the Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (he thought the name was faintly Chinese).
Trump has the name, he has the money, he has an image of strength to contrast with Joe Biden's more traditional style of presidency. But he also has the baggage of 6 January 2021, and the efforts to overturn the elections.
And his usual speech themes, particularly the self-serving whiney ones, which are getting a bit long in the tooth now, might sound very old indeed in two years time. And the investigations are not going to go away either, particularly the one in the state of Georgia into electoral interference. Perhaps in two years time people will be simply bored of the Trump show.
Or perhaps he is right in his prognosis and prescription for how to cure the ills he foresees for the US over the second half of Joe Biden's term.
Perhaps he will become only the second president to win two non-consecutive terms in office (the last was Grover Cleveland in 1892, making him the 22nd and 24th President, in case you are doing a pub quiz over the festive season...).