Political Prognostications

I think the 2020 matchup will be between Senator Harris and President Trump.

The only reason that Biden has been leading in the polls is that a plurality of Democrats thinks he’s the most electable of their possible candidates, and most Americans, Republicans as well as Democrats, have the vague sense that he’s a decent guy. He didn’t show well in the first debate and I expect that his weaknesses – looking old and tired, a pronounced inability to think on his feet and his (related) propensity for verbal gaffes will continue to erase his aura of electability in future debates. Without that aura the progressives – who now run the party and consider Biden far too moderate for their tastes – will have their knives out for him; they are sharpening them as I write, and (while he may still be able to do pushups – good for him!) he’s not the guy to win a knife fight.

Bernie missed his chance when the DLC cheated him out of a fair shot against Herself in 2016. The old and grouchy routine was fresh and kinda entertaining then, he had the hard left activists within the party at hello and in truth any left wing candidate who was not transparently dishonest and had the courage to try to interrupt the attempted Clinton II coronation was always going to get traction from those who saw Hillary for what she was (and is) – but now he looks well past his sell-by date. Most of the other first tier Democratic candidates have stolen his basic policy proposals and the geezer who just got mugged is not a presidential look.

Fauxcahontas has no chance. She may appeal to the Harvard Law School set, but her transparent abuse of falsely-asserted minority advantage to further her career, her shrewishness and her lily-white pallor are all distinct disadvantages to Democrats who are looking for a winner. What’s she got? A record as a crusader against the admittedly unpopular financial services industry – and the same basic hard-left policy positions as Bernie. Not good enough.

Buttigieg? No chance. He’s attracted a lot of money from Democrat elites, and the media love him, but he doesn’t have the chops to be taken seriously. He’s just this year’s version of Beto, with the fact that he’s gay adding a little spice and substituting for Beto’s faux Hispanic routine. Those Democrats, they do love their intersectionality.

The others – other than Harris, of course – are running for VP or, in many cases, just to get some PR. Maybe a cabinet spot, or a gig on CNN or MSNBC. Hey, you never know. (I’m talkin’ ’bout you, De Blasio).

In fairness I should add that Tom Steyer is not running for those little baubles; he actually thinks the Democrats are looking for a white, male, Exeter/Yale/Stanford -educated hedge-fund-founding plutocrat to lead them out of the wilderness, which is pretty funny, really, when you think about it.  

As for Harris: she is smart, she’s ruthless (witness her very clever knifing of Biden in the first debate) and she’s holding a lot of the same cards as Obama was in 2008: she’s an articulate, telegenic African-American Senator with a record too short for others to criticize. As for her brains: in my eyes, she’s proven them twice- by ambushing Biden and by coming out with a softer-form Medicare-for-all proposal that is both leftish enough to placate the activists in her party and seemingly moderate enough (ten-year phase-in) to avoid scaring off the middle-of-the-road voters she’ll need to win the general election. She is also a shape-shifter: having been a law-and-order DA, once she sought a national stage she quickly adopted the pro-defendant mindset now so popular among progressives nationwide.

She will be a formidable candidate. She will also have the full-throated support of all but one of the major media outlets, which now see themselves more as participants than as reporters (when I look at The New York Times these days, I wonder where the news section is; the paper reads as one gigantic editorial section), and the subtle-but-powerful backing of the tech moguls who now control much of the information that most voters actually see.

Based on the strong economy and the fact that Trump has actually delivered on most of his campaign promises – a rare quality in a politician – he should be the going-away favorite; but given a strong, at least somewhat appealing Democratic candidate supported almost unanimously by the media and tech companies, I’m guessing that it will be another nail-biter.

M.H. Johnston      

5 comments to Political Prognostications

  • Peter J. Lefeber  says:

    This is spot on, again. As a challenger to Trump, Harris scares me. And if she were to prevail, we would revert to Obama 2.0 in a nanosecond.

    I do see a possible alternative, though, despite your characterization of Uncle Joe. A lot of people see him as a safe bet, and his candidacy could be really energized with a Biden/Harris ticket.

    • M Johnston  says:

      That would be a strong ticket, but I think she takes him out first as the others fall away and she picks up their supporters.

  • Anonymous  says:

    Yikes! No good news here. If the economy weakens, Harris is our first socialist woman president. Only hope is the house and senate are not in her lap.

  • A loyal reader  says:

    You are 150% right about the NY Times. I still get it delivered, probably in the hope that I will see an occasional real news article.
    But when it comes to Trump, his call for transparency in drug prices is ignored.
    If he walked across the Potomac, they would say he can’t swim.
    Please don’t view me as a Trumpite. He has botched so many chances to turn good results into positive support that it becomes hard not to view him as unbalanced.
    How did he get to where he got with that attitude?
    An impossible puzzle.

  • Anonymous  says:

    I agree that Harris will win the nomination and she will be very tough for Trump to beat. Anything Trump says will be labeled as racist and misogynist. His normal style will be much more difficult this time around. This will be a hands on effort by the media, movie industry and all the Trump haters to defeat Trump. The economy will have to continue to be humming for Trump to be able to win again….and he is his own worst enemy.

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