Some Presidents’ Day Thoughts

Today is Presidents’ Day, one of those national holidays that sneak up on you mainly because most people don’t get to celebrate it. Unless you are in education, finance or government there is a good chance it is just another working Monday. If you are a senior citizen like me you remember when we had both Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays off every February. With winters as cold and snowy as they were in Western New York those two February Mondays off from school were very welcome in my youth! In any event I thought of another plausible ending for the current Presidency and I thought today might be an appropriate day to share it. Come along.

Friday former Republican Massachusetts Governor William Weld announced he was forming an exploratory committee to investigate whether to run for the presidency in 2020 on the Republican ticket. That’s modern day American political talk for he is going to seek the 2020 Republican nomination. That is the first Republican challenge to Trump and I doubt it will be the last.

While Weld is the real deal and not just some flake seeking publicity I don’t think he is a serious threat to Trump. Assuming Trump runs for a second term (an assumption I will challenge below) I expect one or more additional challengers. Unlike many others I do not expect Mitt Romney to run. However I expect challenges from at least Jeff Flake and John Kasich. Flake could make some noise before he fades, but Kasich is a serious challenger. Kasich is a real Republican and is someone Republicans who dislike Trump will be comfortable supporting.

From his earliest days in office I have been most successful when I analyzed Trump as Don Trump, head of an organized criminal enterprise. The walls appear to be closing in on him more with every passing week. The sounds of the threats of impeachment and criminal investigations grow louder almost daily (sometimes hourly). Trump’s entire administration has been a scam aimed at amassing as much money as possible for him and his inner circle. Many of his actions have been designed simply to keep the clock running and the money coming in.

The Democrats have a major political incentive to continue to investigate him if he is the 2020 nominee because that means he could win and serve another four years. However, if we get closer to the election and Trump is not the nominee much of the incentive is gone and political efforts will be focused on defeating whoever the GOP nominee is.

If, in a few months, Trump announced that he was not seeking reelection the spotlight would be off him. That would allow him to continue to enrich himself through January 19, 2021 with much less attention and virtually no risk. Another, let’s say, 18 months of unmolested skimming wouldn’t be a bad trade against the risk of it all blowing up versus the reward of an additional four years.

If that happens expect GOP hopefuls to come out of the woodwork. It is also not that farfetched that Trump pulling out of the race might just save the GOP from the internal destruction being wreaked by the Tea Party and now Trump.

OK, now for a change of pace. It is traditional to rank the presidents in a Presidents’ Day article. I’m not prepare or motivated to do that, however I’ll name the best and the worst of my lifetime. At the top I’ll offer two names without an actual ranking: Barack Obama and Harry Truman. That’s not much of a surprise to any of my regular readers. The worst is clearer to me and even less of a surprise: Donald Trump.

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One thought on “Some Presidents’ Day Thoughts”

  1. Once again, Larry, you’re right on the money. Assuming Trump has not been impeached before the convention in 2020, his best face-saving route is to beg off running for a second term and blame it on his health (bone spurs or some such). Then we’ll see what happens in the criminal courts.

    I have long thought that John Kasich appears to be the one who could save the Republican Party. But he’ll let Bill Weld run interference for him early on.

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