Although Trump's early campaign filing is extraordinarily unusual, aspects of a "permanent campaign" are not entirely unprecedented in American politics. Such a phenomenon had a presence in the White House at least as early as the presidency of Bill Clinton. Under the advice of Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton's staff continued to engage in campaign methodology once in office, using polling for assistance in making decisions.
Progressives believe Trump is an authoritarian tyranny barely constrained by the rule of law. With a straight face, these same progressives argue the accusations against Kavanaugh are proof of his guilt, he should not be presumed innocent, a lack of witnesses is confirmation he did what they claim, all women must be believed except the ones who defend Kavanaugh, and any dissent is just white male privilege. Progressives may claim President Trump is Caesar at the edge of the Rubicon, but they have embraced the bastard love child of Joseph Stalin and Franz Kafka and enlisted the American political press to smear, defame, and attack anyone who stands in their way.
Vice President Mike Pence attended Joni Ernst's 3rd Annual Roast and Ride fundraiser, held on June 3 at the Central Iowa Expo near Boone, Iowa. The previous editions of this event have included presidential campaign appearances. Trump himself had previously attended Ernst's fundraiser in 2016 while campaigning in Iowa, and seven Republican presidential contenders attended the event in 2015.
So if you look, for instance, at the speeches of John F. Kennedy, you won’t find them littered with exceptionals, indispensables, or their equivalents. In a pre-inaugural speech he gave in January 1961 on the kind of government he planned to bring to Washington, for instance, he did cite the birth of a “great republic,” the United States, and quoted Puritan John Winthrop on the desirability of creating a country that would be “a city upon a hill” to the rest of the world, with all of humanity’s eyes upon us. In his inaugural address (“Ask not what your country can do for you…”), he invoked a kind of unspoken greatness, saying, “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” It was then common to speak of the United States with pride as a “free nation” (as opposed to the “enslaved” ones of the communist bloc) rather than an exceptional one. His only use of “great” was to invoke the US- and Soviet Union–led blocs as “two great and powerful groups of nations.”
Trump University was a for-profit education company that was founded by Trump and his associates, Michael Sexton and Jonathan Spitalny. The company ran a real estate training program and charged between $1,500 and $35,000 per course. In 2005, New York State authorities notified the operation that its use of the word "university" was misleading and violated state law. After a second such notification in 2010, the name of the company was changed to the "Trump Entrepreneurial Institute". Trump was also found personally liable for failing to obtain a business license for the operation.
When Mike Fleiss, the creator of “The Bachelor” and “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?” helped pioneer reality television in the early 2000s, he quickly realized that for any show to work, the audience needed to feel invested. “Whenever you’re developing one of these shows, you have to find stakes — true love or a million dollars,” Mr. Fleiss said.
But the biggest liability for Trump is himself, as evidenced by his disastrous Putin press conference. “For Trump’s outside supporters, we are highly concerned the president is continually incapable of discerning between meddling and collusion,” Sam Nunberg said. “Every time he does something like that he makes our lives harder. It’s time he gets the fuck over [the election].” Even if he survives the Mueller probe and holds on to Congress, there’s the Michael Cohen time bomb. “Michael Cohen and the Trump Org? I don’t know,” Bannon said with concern when I brought it up. “That’s not my deal.” It will be difficult to rekindle the magic that propelled Trump to victory last time.
At the Jiahao Flag Co Ltd in Anhui province, women operate sewing machines to hem the edges of “Trump 2020” flags the size of beach towels, while others fold and bundle them for delivery. The factory has turned out about 90,000 banners since March, said manager Yao Yuanyuan, an unusually large number for what is normally the low season, and Yao believed the China-U.S. trade war was the reason.
Of course, don’t furl the flag or shut down those offshore accounts or start writing the complete history of American decline quite yet. After all, the United States still looms “lone” on an ever more chaotic planet. Its wealth remains stunning, its economic clout something to behold, its tycoons the envy of the Earth, and its military beyond compare when it comes to how much and how destructively, even if not how successfully. Still, make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is a harbinger, however bizarre, of a new American century in which this country will indeed no longer be (with a bow to Muhammad Ali) “the Greatest” or, for all but a shrinking crew, exceptional.
An economic downturn would send Trump’s electoral prospects into a tailspin. Just as incumbent presidents like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have benefited from strong economies in the past, incumbent presidents like Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush have seen their re-election bids derailed by weak economies, whether from the stagflation of the 1970s or the rising unemployment of the early 1990s. And given that Trump's approval rating has been quite low despite a booming economy, it might take a historic dive if things turn south.
Trump may have criticized Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, in a way I found inappropriate for a President to do, but his opponents have thrown out the millennia-old principle that a man is to be presumed innocent. The President may have enacted tariffs I find harmful to the economy, but his opponents are willfully destroying a good, innocent man so they can keep destroying children.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump accused the press of intentionally misinterpreting his words and of being biased, although he benefited from a record amount of free media coverage, elevating his standing in the Republican primaries. After winning the election, Trump told journalist Lesley Stahl that he intentionally demeaned and discredited the media "so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you". Into his presidency, much of the press coverage of Trump and his administration was negative.
Trump operated golf courses in several countries. He hosted several boxing matches at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, including Mike Tyson's 1988 heavyweight championship fight against Michael Spinks. He also acted as a financial advisor to Mike Tyson. In 1989 and 1990, Trump lent his name to the Tour de Trump cycling stage race, which was an attempt to create an American equivalent of European races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia.
Two of Trump's 15 original cabinet members were gone within 15 months: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign in September 2017 due to excessive use of private charter jets and military aircraft, and Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo in March 2018 over disagreements on foreign policy. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018 amidst multiple investigations into his conduct.
The Washington Post reported that days after Comey's dismissal the special counsel started investigating whether Trump had obstructed justice. Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow stated that he had not been notified of any such investigation. ABC News later reported that the special counsel was gathering preliminary information about possible obstruction of justice but had not launched a full-scale investigation.
Stoking Trump’s interest is the gathering momentum on the Democratic side. Warren told a town hall this weekend that she plans to “take a hard look” at running for president after the midterm elections, Biden has conspicuously raised his public profile of late, and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is making high-profile appearances in key primary states, along with using his Senate Judiciary Committee post to jab at Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The logic underpinning a second Trump victory isn’t only a paranoid Democratic fantasy. “Democrats should be very, very worried,” Dan Pfeiffer, Barack Obama’s former communications director, told me recently. “We have more voters than they do, but we can only win if we get them out. Complacency hurt Democrats last time because we assumed Trump would lose.”
Trump has been described as a non-interventionist and as an American Nationalist. He has repeatedly stated that he supports an "America First" foreign policy. He supports increasing United States military defense spending, but favors decreasing United States spending on NATO and in the Pacific region. He says America should look inward, stop "nation building", and re-orient its resources toward domestic needs.
Trump has a history of making racially controversial remarks and taking actions that are perceived as racially motivated. In 1975, he settled a 1973 Department of Justice lawsuit that alleged housing discrimination against black renters. He was accused of racism for insisting that a group of black and Latino teenagers were guilty of raping a white woman in the 1989 Central Park jogger attack, even after they were exonerated by DNA evidence in 2002. He continued to maintain this position as late as 2016.
Maybe Trump is talking about the period just after the Civil War, when the country was officially reunited after a painful Southern secession. Still, in 1873, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could bar women from certain jobs, holding that Illinois didn't have to grant a married woman a license to practice law. "[C]ivil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman," wrote Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Bradley in his concurrence. "Man is, or should be, woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life." African-Americans were freed from slavery, but disease, neglect, and poverty meant that hundreds of thousands died in the immediate aftermath of emancipation. Those who survived saw their opportunities quickly narrow, as conservative, mostly Southern states passed a series of laws restricting the rights of black citizens. Black men could vote, but not black women; even for many black men, the promise of a vote was a mirage, as states set up nearly impossible-to-surmount barriers to African-American voting. Those barriers were wildly successful, and by the turn of the century, virtually no Southern blacks were able to cast a ballot and participate in the political process. The Ku Klux Klan was a powerful social and political force, effectively restoring white supremacy; African-Americans were terrorized, assaulted, lynched, and murdered, the murderers and assailants rarely prosecuted.
Trump officially filed his reelection campaign with the FEC on January 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration. Trump launched his reelection campaign earlier in his presidency than his predecessors did. Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan all declared their candidacies for reelection in the third year of their presidencies. Trump filed the papers for his reelection campaign approximately 47 months prior to the date of the election. In contrast, both Reagan and George H. W. Bush filed approximately twelve months, George W. Bush filed approximately eighteen, and both Clinton and Obama filed approximately nineteen months prior to the date of the election.