Trump in 2020?
A few weeks ago, I suggested that President Trump might well decide not to run for re-election in 2020. I must admit, I already think I was wrong and that he will decide to at least go down fighting. Of course, he might face a primary challenge within his own Republican party for the nomination. As a relative political outsider, and as someone who has a fair share of haters on all sides of political divides, he could be unusually vulnerable. Yet it is unheard of for a sitting President not to secure their own party’s nomination. Still, it could become a problem for Trump if his polling this time next year is appalling.
Senator Bernie Sanders, the man who narrowly failed to beat Hillary Clinton to the nomination of the Democratic Party in 2016, has just declared he will again run for the Democratic nomination, following Senator Kamala Harris. Over the weekend, President Trump came out fighting hard in a two-hour speech (the longest of his political career) to the Conservative Political Action Conference. It was like an election rally, but I might be reading too much into the President’s combativeness – he just had another bad week with his former personal lawyer beginning testimony to Congress. Worst of all, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to release his final report to the Attorney-General, and there will be a huge political fight over how much of it can be made public.
Most of the President’s venom therefore was aimed at Special Counsel Robert Mueller who has been overseeing a probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign of 2016 and the Russian government for almost two years now, which has indicted seven U.S. nationals to date. It seems increasingly likely that the probe, though threatening indictable individuals who may be prepared to testify to criminal conduct by the President, will be able to come up with enough substantial accusations against President Trump to begin a process of impeachment in the House of Representatives. It is very unlikely that such a movement to impeach would or could succeed before the 2020 election, as it will have to pass through the Senate with a two-thirds supermajority, but the President’s enemies may be able to string it out to cover most or all of the 2020 Presidential election campaign, which could deal a fatal blow to the President’s already shaky chances of re-election – unless the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders or someone else with a similarly cranky and extreme image as his opponent. Video was released a few days ago of Sanders praising the Soviet Union in the 1980s. If the Democrats instead nominate a candidate with broad appeal, it is difficult to imagine Trump securing re-election.