As I look ahead to the upcoming presidential campaign, I keep wondering just how Donald J. Trump is going to campaign for a second term.
Will he actually offer an agenda for the next four years? Or will he get into the name-calling game that helped get him elected in the first place?
Texas Gov. Ann Richards sought re-election to a second term in 1994, but got beat by a political newcomer, George W. Bush. Part of Gov. Richards’ undoing was her seeming inability to lay out a second-term agenda as Texas governor. Bush, meanwhile, stayed focused on his own agenda and campaigned relentlessly without veering too far from his talking points.
Richards, meanwhile, got too negative in her effort to derail the up-and-comer. It didn’t work.
So, will the president borrow a page from the failed Ann Richards playbook?
The major issue, from my standpoint, is that Trump’s initial agenda has been buried under the chaos and confusion that has been hallmark of his term in office. How will the Democratic nominee campaign against that first term? I suppose he or she will point correctly — in my view — to the chaotic nature of the president’s (hoped-for only) term.
Trump, meanwhile, likely will be true to form and respond with the blizzard of insults and innuendo that became the centerpiece of his victorious campaign in 2016.
Second-term agenda? Hah! There well might not be a mention of it.