Tag Archives: 2020 election

What do you mean by ‘everybody,’ Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump sat down with Piers Morgan and made yet another astonishing exaggeration, which compels me to disabuse him of the idiocy he put out there.

Morgan asked the president if there is any doubt he will seek re-election in 2020. Trump said he’s all in for a re-election bid.

“Everybody wants me to run” for a second term, he said.

Huh? Wha … ? Eh? Everybody wants him to run?

Count me out, Mr. President. I am not a member of the Everybody Brigade he is citing.

Not only do I want him to walk away after his term, I want him booted out before the end of his term. Although I must concede that a President Mike Pence gives me pause as well, but for reasons that deal more with public policy than with general incompetence, ignorance, arrogance and rhetorical idiocy.

OK, I get that I’m likely nitpicking what Trump said about “everybody” wanting him to run again. However, if we’re being asked to take the president at his word, then I cannot remain silent when he blathers such absolute nonsense.

Trump vs. Warren gets going early!

Donald Trump must believe U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is going to run for president in 2020, and … that she well might be the Democratic Party nominee for the office Trump currently occupies.

He went after Warren in typical Trumpian fashion Thursday at a rally in Great Falls, Mont., calling her by that derisive nickname he has hung on her, “Pocahontas,” owing to her claim of having Native-American heritage in her background.

Trump has been dismissing that for years. He gets lots of laughs from his political rally crowds.

But here’s my observation about the manner that Trump might campaign for re-election. He won’t take the high road. He won’t ride the moral altitude that his high office allows him.

Oh, no! He’s going to return to the insults and the innuendo that energized his base and helped him get elected in 2016. We’re witnessing it again as he rails and rants against potential rivals for his job.

His rally speech in Great Falls flew off the rails — quite naturally.

He said the following, according to The Hill:

“I’m going to get one of those little kits and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she’s of Indian heritage — because her mother said she has high cheekbones, that’s her only evidence,” Trump continued.

“We will take that little kit, we have to do it gently because we’re in the “Me Too” generation, we have to be very gentle,” Trump said mocking the movement that seeks to expose sexual misconduct in media, entertainment and politics.

“We will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm, even though it only weighs probably 2 oz,” he said.

“And we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars, paid for by Trump, to your favorite charity if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian,” Trump said. “And we’ll see what she does. I have a feeling she will say no but we will hold it for the debates.”

Doesn’t that sound like a man immersed in the dignity of his high office? Of course not! Dignity and decorum are foreign to this guy.

Tax returns, Mr. President?

A Rhode Island state senator has pitched a fascinating idea that I hope becomes law. Indeed, her idea has already passed the state Senate. Where it goes next is anyone’s guess.

I fear that it won’t see the light of day.

Democrat Gayle Goldin authored a bill that would keep Donald J. Trump’s name off the 2020 ballot unless he releases his income tax returns, something he has so far refused to do.

Trump already has launched his re-election effort. He won’t win Rhode Island’s electoral votes in 2020, just as he didn’t win them in 2016. Sen. Goldin wants him to do something that every presidential candidate has done for the past 40 years, which is release his tax returns for public scrutiny.

Trump’s excuse for refusing to do so is as lame as it gets. He says the Internal Revenue Service is auditing his returns. The IRS says an audit doesn’t prevent someone from releasing their returns to the public, although it has not commented specifically on whether it is actually auditing Trump’s returns.

For that matter, the president hasn’t even produced any evidence that the IRS is in fact auditing his returns, which makes many of us question whether any such audit even has taken place.

Democrats control the Rhode Island Senate. Goldin’s bill passed 34-3. It now goes to the state House. I don’t yet have confidence that this gutsy measure will become law.

I hope it does. I also hope it catches on in all 50 states. I know. It’s not likely to happen. One can hope.

Trump ‘no sure thing’ for 2020?

A lame-duck Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee has weighed in with an interesting — but possibly worthless — conjecture about Donald J. Trump’s political future.

Bob Corker — who has announced his intention to retire at the end of the year — has said it is not a “sure thing” that the president will seek re-election in 2020, even though he has formed a committee and has begun raising money for an expected effort at winning a second term.

I won’t comment on whether Corker knows something no one else on Earth knows. He does pose an interesting notion.

Consider what might be coarsing through the president’s self-acknowledged ample brain.

  • He is facing a possible “blue wave” election later this year, with Democrats taking control of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. That means he could become the third president ever impeached by the House of Representatives. I am not going to bet the farm that a Senate controlled by a slim Democratic majority would convict him.
  • Trump also might face a primary challenge in 2020. There could be any number of Republicans who are furious enough with the president to challenge him in two years. They could draw substantial political blood in the process.
  • The president might have to watch every single legislative agenda item on his to-do list stalled over the “Russia thing,” the porn queen scandal, the nagging tempest over his business dealings.

What in the world might that portend if hell freezes over and he actually is re-elected in November 2020?

Does the president really want to subject himself to the humiliation that might await him? I mean, he is a narcissist extraordinaire. It’s all about him as president, just as it was all about him as reality TV celebrity and business mogul.

This is the payback that well might await a man who built his entire pre-politics reputation on self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement. Public service was never part of his modus operandi.

Might he decide to bail after one term? I have no idea. My hope is that he calls it a career. But with Donald Trump, well, one never can predict a single thing.

By all means, welcome back, Katrina Pierson

She’s back. Dallas resident Katrina Pierson is going to return to the presidential campaign trail on behalf of Donald John Trump Sr.

I am delighted to see her return to the partisan battle.

Pierson is a long-time Texas TEA Party activist, which is where she earned her spurs before becoming a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Here, though, is the real reason why I want to see Pierson back in the fray. She is prone to making truly bizarre statements.

Such as when she blamed President Obama for starting the Afghan War — in 2001. Oops! That fight began on President Bush’s watch, about a month or so after the 9/11 attack on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Or the time she blamed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the death of U.S. Army Capt. Humayan Khan, whose parents were strong supporters of President Obama; remember how they stood before the 2016 Democratic convention to excoriate the GOP nominee, Trump. Oh, darn! She must have forgot that Capt. Khan died in Iraq in 2004, five years before Obama and Clinton assumed power.

So, I’m all excited to see Katrina Pierson return to the presidential campaign trail.

She’s good for plenty of laughs. We’ll need to keep our sense of humor when 2020 rolls around to keep from going insane!

Biden in ’20? Yes, but … why ?

Joseph R. Biden’s possible presidential candidacy in 2020 fills me with equal parts hope and dread.

Actually, the dread part might be a bit greater than the hope.

The former vice president reportedly is thinking hard about running for president in 2020. I presume he wants to challenge Donald John Trump Sr., who’s already formed a re-election campaign committee and has been speaking at political rallies almost from the first day of his presidency.

Biden is being coy, naturally. He says he is concentrating first in this year’s mid-term election that he hopes will elect more Democrats to public office.

Let me stipulate two points about hope and dread.

The Hope: I have admired Biden for decades, dating back to the horrific personal tragedy he endured in 1972 when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate. His wife and daughter died in a car accident shortly after the election that year and Biden wrestled with whether he wanted to become a senator.

His friends counseled him to serve. He took their advice and served in the Senate from 1973 until he was tapped by fellow Sen. Barack Obama to run with him on the 2008 Democratic ticket; Obama and Biden won that contest and Biden became a valuable member of the Obama administration.

Biden’s Senate career hit its share of bumps along the way. He was prone to talking too much. He got ensnared in a copycat scandal in which he lifted remarks from a British politician and used them as his own in telling his life story; that embarrassment cost him dearly and he had to pull out of his first run for president in 1987.

Then there was the time during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Biden had five minutes to ask a question, but he spent damn near all of it on a soliloquy about why he opposed Alito. Sheesh!

But the ex-VP is a patriot who loves this country and has given much in service to it. He might want one more tour of public service duty.

The Dread: As much as I admire Biden, I still believe Democrats need to reach out to the back bench to find a nominee to challenge Trump. I believe 2020 will provide an opportunity to find someone who is on no one’s political radar at the moment.

Barack Obama came out of nowhere in 2008. So did Jimmy Carter in 1976. I’m not saying Democrats should nominate another Obama or Carter, but rather they should find someone who is as unknown as they both were to the American public.

There’s also the issue of age. Vice President Biden would be the oldest man ever elected president were he to win in 2020. He’s already on record saying he would serve a single term before bowing out — which would make him a lame-duck the minute he took his hand off the Bible at his swearing in.

I am reminded of something a late Clackamas County (Ore.) sheriff once told me after he took office when his predecessor resigned. Bill Brooks announced immediately he would run for election. “If I don’t run I become a lame duck,” Brooks said. “Lame ducks get bulldozed and I don’t bulldoze worth a s**t.”

A 78-year-old President Biden would get bulldozed, too.

Would I still support a Biden candidacy over Donald Trump?

Duh! What in the world do you think?

This just in: Oprah won’t run in 2020

This “scoop” comes from a member of my family: “You don’t need to worry about Oprah running for president; she isn’t going to do it.”

There you have it. Why? Because Oprah Winfrey isn’t going to give up being the world’s most powerful and revered woman. She isn’t going to expose herself to the denigration that would await her if she were to run against Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump Sr.

She won’t “lower herself” to Trump’s level, my family member said.

So, is that what will happen? I’m inclined to believe the assessment I have received.

I am no expert. I am no soothsayer. I cannot predict what celebrities will do. I once said publicly that former first lady Hillary Clinton wouldn’t run for the U.S. Senate in 2000. Wrong!

Winfrey brought ’em to their feet at the Golden Globes show this past weekend. She roared that “a new day is on the horizon!” Women no longer will be intimidated, shamed, abused, assaulted by men, she said. Hmm. Did she have anyone in mind? Oh, wait! Maybe it’s the president of the United States!

But … my family member believes Oprah won’t enter the 2020 presidential contest.

“She’ll go to her grave with her incredible wealth and reputation intact,” she said.

I’m good with that.

‘Biggest loser of all time’

Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!

I’ll give you three guesses on who wrote this little message … and the first two guesses won’t count.

Yep. Donald John Trump Sr. would be the one.

I’ve been thinking a bit about what the president wrote about his vanquished 2016 presidential election foe.

You know what? He has a point about Hillary’s standing as the “worst (and biggest) loser of all time.”

It’s that she lost to Donald Trump that I think qualifies her as the biggest loser. She had no business on Planet Earth losing to that clown. She managed to do it, however. She had some “help” along the way … as some have argued.

There was that last-minute dump by then-FBI Director James Comey, who said he was re-examining the e-mail controversy; it turned out he still had nothing on Hillary.

And, oh yeah, the Russians were hacking into our electoral process to help their boy, Donald Trump, over the finish line.

Trump now is goading Clinton into running again in 2020. She likely won’t swallow that bait. Still, the president keeps yapping away at his 2016 opponent for reasons that baffle me.

I’ll give some measure of “credit,” though, for describing Hillary as the nation’s “biggest loser.” The president’s own quality and qualifications as a candidate, however, elevates Hillary Clinton to this lofty standing.

Get a grip, Donald.

Primary challenge awaits POTUS?

A version of the term “primary” has become a verb, in addition to it being an adjective and a noun.

Its verb form is used in a political contest, as in so-and-so is going to get “primaried.” Donald J. Trump, for the purposes of this blog post, is the “so-and-so” under discussion for a moment or two.

The president of the United States has managed to p** off damn near the entire Republican Party establishment with his hideous behavior and his tirade of insults against leading GOP politicians, namely those on Capitol Hill.

It’s tough, naturally, to predict any outcome as it regards this individual. He wasn’t even supposed to get elected in 2016 after a string of ghastly comments, campaign deeds and his generally acceptance ignorance of anything having to do with the federal government.

But … there he is. Sitting in the Oval Office and making an utter ass of himself, not to mention disgracing the presidency.

If this clown faces a primary challenge in 2019 and 2020 — presuming he’s still in office — how does that bode for his re-election? Recent political history doesn’t look kindly on these things.

* In 1968, U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy challenged President Lyndon Johnson in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. LBJ won, but Clean Gene got a substantial vote. Then U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy entered the primary race — and LBJ bowed out. The party’s eventual nominee, Hubert Humphrey, lost the presidency to Richard Nixon later that year.

* Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan decided to run against President Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination in 1976. Ford was running for election after taking over from President Nixon in 1974. Reagan didn’t think Ford was conservative enough. The men fought for the nomination until the convention. Ford was nominated, but then lost to Jimmy Carter.

* President Carter got a challenge of his own in 1980 from U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, who thought Carter wasn’t liberal enough. Carter fought back that challenge, but then got trampled by Reagan in that year’s general election.

What lies ahead for the current president?

One of the men he beat on his way to the White House, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was utterly appalled at the president’s remarks in the aftermath of Charlottesville. He sounds like someone who’s going to “primary” the president. He was asked directly the other day whether he intends to run for the GOP nomination in 2020. Kasich gave that classic non-answer: “Look, I have no plans to run … ”

“I have no plans” is code for: I am thinking reeealll hard about running. Actually, given that Gov. Kasich was my favorite Republican in the 2016 primary campaign, I hope he does take the leap one more time.

Trump’s poll numbers keep plummeting. He keeps stuffing both feet in his mouth. He continues to embarrass the nation that managed to elect him. And, oh yes, we have that Russia investigation proceeding with all deliberate speed.

Indeed, history is unkind to presidents who face challenges from within their partisan ranks. Will this president defy conventional wisdom yet again? 

Not much peace and harmony in that speech

That didn’t last long, not that anyone really and truly anticipated it would.

Donald John Trump Sr. spoke briefly on Monday about the need for America to heel the wounds that divide it, about how returning heroes fighting overseas to defend us need to return to a country where all Americans love each other.

Then came last night’s campaign rally. The president donned the brass knuckles yet again and tore into: The media, critics of his responses to the Charlottesville riot, the two U.S. senators from Arizona, those who oppose his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats in general, key congressional Republicans.

He tossed in a few insults along the way. Yes, the president reverted to form. Trump showed us once again — as if we needed reminding — that his version of “acting presidential” bears zero resemblance to what the rest of the nation understands that term to mean.

I’ll give him a sliver of credit at least for declining to pardon one of the nation’s most divisive lawmen, former Maricopa County “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio, who has been convicted in connection to his harsh treatment of illegal immigrants. Trump, though, did seemingly imply that a pardon was pending; so, we’ll just have to wait for that act to puncture the national mood with even more collateral damage.

Another bit of good news? No one was seriously injured outside the hall during the protests that were mounted against Trump’s speech.

We’re only seven or so months into Trump’s term as president. We have three more years — maybe — remaining before the next presidential election cycle.

Acting “presidential” used to mean that our head of state lifted our spirits, comforted us in times of trouble and appealed to our higher ideals.

Those moments are gone — at least for as long as Donald Trump occupies the Big Office in the White House.