Trump World is planning its own Idea Festival in Florida next month.
The brainchild of the former president’s top domestic adviser, the America First Policy Institute, administration will hold a policy conference in Mar-a-Largo in November to see the previous administration as its major success and to plan for the future, RealClearPolitics first reported.
Built as the “final gathering” of conservative leaders, the event will be a kind of reunion of former Trump cabinet officials, many of whom are now full-time employees at AFPI, the new and biggest addition to the growing star of the conservative group.
Former department heads will include David Bernhard (internal), Andrew Wheeler (EPA) and Chad Wolf (Department of Homeland Security). But the big draw, the name that will draw prominent people and donors alike, is the 35th president. According to a source directly involved in organizing the event, Donald Trump will “share his invaluable insights on ensuring an important year before mid-2022.”
There are plans for policy sessions, but a large team is also sure. Guests will take part in a day-long discussion on “what pro-American policy means.” They will then wear tuxedos and ball gowns in their rooms at the former president’s exclusive seaside club-the Maga Summit will end in a black tie gala.
The event is more than the ideal assembly of one-time DC movers and shakers. It came in the form of a conservative expatriate after Trump rebuilt the Republican Party in his own image, a fact that many GOP politicians shared with the former president by visiting regular pilgrimages to Florida. But his time at the White House forced a debate on what conservative orthodoxy is and is not, a debate that has only intensified since he left power.
To that end, several new conservative groups have sprung up in recent years. Trump’s last chief of staff and former congressman Mark Meadows is now an employee of the Conservative Partnership Institute. Stephen Miller, Trump’s policy adviser, introduced America First Legal. Ras Vatt, formerly director of the Office of Management and Budget, started the Center for Renewing America. All of them do the same thing and all of them compete for donors in the universe of think tanks, policy shops and advocacy organizations.
Enter AFPI. In the declining days of Trump’s presidency, when it became clear that a second term would not occur, key allies began strategizing on how to formulate and advance his agenda after the White House. What was needed, according to a senior Trump World senior source, was “an organization at the national level that is going to work with standard-bearers and old guard-heritage, AI and Cato.”
The target was a large tent organization, the source said, which would include “those of us who have worked for Donald Trump, but those who have not worked for Donald Trump or those who are not 100% sure.” Launched earlier this year, the group is “intended to represent everyone who believes that Americans should always be first and foremost and that freedom and liberty should be the supreme rule.”
That mission fell on Brooke Rollins, who landed. It was a natural fit. He is Trump’s chief internal policy adviser and before that, the leader of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin that drew national attention to Trump’s years.
“Our policies are based on bringing back hope to the American community, reviving American entrepreneurship and industry, and giving the American people a ruling voice,” Rollins told RealClearPolitics.
“We measure our country not by promoting its big returns, but by creating its big dreams and opportunities,” he added. “After all, America is a country where ordinary men and women can do really great things.”
Policy talk and the party in Mar-a-Largo are just the beginning of this effort, and AFPI hopes to create an idea circuit with policy summits twice a year across the country. According to Rollins, the inaugural event in Florida will “provide a forum to discuss the road ahead,” defining what is consistent with America First policy and defining, “growth for the conservative movement and success for the country and all Americans.”