At the moment, this is lining up as a successful re-election for Trump. But fear not!


First published in February 2020.


I’ve always promoted the strategy that Democrats should, early, pick a presidential nominee, get behind him or her, and get their coalition together in a force to oppose Donald Trump, who is becoming a more formidable foe than some anticipated. Getting everyone on board early, I theorized, would avoid splitting votes among a myriad of candidates and end the infighting over ideology when the main goal is to beat Donald Trump.

I’ve always thought, too, that Joe Biden was the right candidate because he would be the most effective transition president away from Trump and toward, well, normal.

I still believe in that strategy but it’s complicated now by the non-results in Iowa and the likely results in New Hampshire – Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete likely leading the way with possibly Sen. Elizabeth Warren third. Before Pete caught fire, Biden could have finished fourth in Iowa and even New Hampshire, where he could honestly point to two neighboring state U.S. Senators leading the way and being too much to overcome. But that strategy is gone.

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Pete Buttigieg speaking to voters at the Community Oven restaurant in Hampton, New Hampshire, 4 Feb 2020. / Flickr - Colin Ahern

The press is onto Mayor Pete being the outsider this time, and they do love that narrative. Uh, until the next one comes along.

Now, IF Biden can hang in there until South Carolina, where the Democratic base is a more mixed demographic, he still will have an uphill battle. His funders, I doubt, will stay with him that long.

So, assuming Biden drops out at some point, who is the favorite for the nomination? Probably the other mayor, Mike Bloomberg. I have my reasons for thinking he can’t win but with the Democratic base looking at a choice of Bernie, Pete or Mike, I have a feeling I know where they’re going. It’s not so much that Democrats don’t like Bernie it’s that they just don’t think he can win. And, don’t lose touch with the fact that Bernie is not a Democrat and that doesn’t sit well either.

If my little scenario ever played out, that doesn’t make Mayor Mike a better opponent for Trump – Bloomberg brings along his own baggage with minority voters and others.

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The Iowa Caucuses became an Epic Fiasco for Democrats. / Flickr - Phil Roeder

But, they are probably more overcome-able than having a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist or a 37-year old who, while impressive so far, does not have sufficient experience to be President (I know, look who’s President now). Plus, who then would Mayor Pete pick as a running mate to balance his weaknesses? I dunno but the options don’t look promising in that match-up.

Sanders also is on a bit of a free ride as the other candidates are not attacking him as much as they are each other. Probably because Sanders does have a cult-like base that is sticking with him no matter what.

Uh, sound familiar? We have a president like that now.

Meanwhile, Trump had the best week of his presidency. Though when you consider one of the highlights of the week was a tribe of Republican senators who saved him from being thrown out of office, the highlights aren’t so high.

He was impeached, ya know. And saved by a bunch of senators scared for their own futures. Thank goodness Alan Dershowitz, came through for them with a ridiculous reason to acquit but not so ridiculous that they couldn’t hide behind it.

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The economy keeps on keeping on and likely will not enter a recession this year – the best medicine for Trump to take into a re-election campaign. The economy has been resilient. It has been growing for a record 12 years now (yes, 12. The recovery began under Obama despite what Trump says. The incumbent President always gets the credit for a good economy and, at least historically, the blame when it goes bad.)

Trump also credits himself with a fabulous State of the Union but he never did care about how many lies he tells and this speech was a bonanza of lies. Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up the speech. I can’t blame her but I think she was wrong to do it giving Trump and his supporters memes (many phony) for weeks.

Biden has been a miserable candidate this year. But if you’re old enough to have lived through his other unsuccessful runs for President, you know that isn’t news. He’s just a bad, probably also outdated, candidate. But, it’s true he is a nice guy.

At the moment, this is lining up as a successful re-election for Trump. But fear not! There still are other factors that aren’t yet in play.

First, he isn’t one-on-one with anyone yet and that will change the dynamic. Second, he won the presidency by not too many votes, but enough to take three key electoral states to win. How he does in those states this time around is an unknown. The economy still hasn’t lifted those areas and, like New Hampshire and other states, there are still big pockets where the economy has not helped the middle class. At all.

Tax cuts benefiting the wealthiest have fueled the economy and Trump can applaud how well 401(k)s are doing but only for those who have them, and much of the America overlooked for so long doesn’t have them, or health care.

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401(k)

A 401(k) plan is a company-sponsored retirement account that employees can contribute to. Employers may also make matching contributions.
// Source: Investopedia

Trump is fighting like always, though. He knows, for example, that he doesn’t have to win the African American vote, he just needs to get a few more percentage points to make a big difference. He, or his people, are as cagey on that as always.

So, it’s not over yet – it’s really just begun but you cannot take your eye off the ball.🔷


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Check their Voting Record:

🗳️ Joe Biden

🗳️ Bernie Sanders

🗳️ Pete Buttigieg

🗳️ Elizabeth Warren

🗳️ Michael Bloomberg










[This piece was originally published on The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 10 February 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Phil Roeder. - Vice President Joe Biden holding a campaign rally at Hiatt Middle School, Iowa. | 2 Feb 2020. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)



     

THE AUTHOR

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Former deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Also headed communications offices at the RNC, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Yale University.

Marion, MA, USA. Articles in PMP Magazine Website