His political positions have been described as populist,[398][399][400] and some of his views cross party lines. For example, his economic campaign plan calls for large reductions in income taxes and deregulation,[401] consistent with Republican Party policies, along with significant infrastructure investment,[402] usually considered a Democratic Party policy.[403][404] According to political writer Jack Shafer, Trump may be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he attracts free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.[405][406]
Of course, unlike anything else on TV, the story lines coming out of Washington could determine the future of Roe v. Wade, whether immigrant families can reunite and the health of the global economy. Tuning out is a luxury only the most privileged viewers can afford. And yet, it goes beyond being an informed citizen when you find yourself on hour six of watching a panel of experts debate Bob Woodward’s use of “deep background” sourcing for his book “Fear,” Paul Manafort’s $15,000 ostrich-leather bomber jacket (“a garment thick with hubris,” The Washington Post said) and the implications of Stormy Daniels’s lurid descriptions of Mr. Trump’s, um, anatomy. (I, for one, will never look at Super Mario the same way again.)
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.
Democrats might get started on honing an economic message that will resonate. That means exposing the weaknesses of the Trump economy now and highlighting the fact that corporations and those in the top 1 percent have been its main beneficiaries, not average workers. In other words, Democrats have to adopt the full-throated progressive critiques of the economy expressed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, whether or not either ends up as the party's standard bearer in 2020, and reject the whimpering compromises of Chuck Schumer.
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.[27][37]
It is widely assumed among Trump advisers that Kushner, who was instrumental in the hiring of Parscale, will depart the White House at some point after the midterms to oversee the 2020 campaign. “The entire reason Brad got the job is because he was acceptable to the Trump kids,” a former White House official said. “Eric loves the guy, and Don does, too.” Since February, Parscale has been working from an office in the Republican National Committee’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. “He’s been cleaning up data, gearing up for post-2018,” said a Trump adviser. Trump advisers I spoke with view Parscale as an extension of Kushner. After the 2016 election, Trump was annoyed that Kushner received so much credit for the win, even appearing on the cover of Forbes with an ear-to-ear grin above the headline THIS GUY GOT TRUMP ELECTED. The reality is that no matter what campaign structure takes shape, Trump views himself as his own campaign manager. “I’m the strategist,” Trump told me back in 2016.
As president, Trump has frequently made false statements in public speeches and remarks.[276][277][278][279] Trump uttered "at least one false or misleading claim per day on 91 of his first 99 days" in office according to The New York Times,[276] and 1,318 total in his first 263 days in office according to the "Fact Checker" political analysis column of The Washington Post,[280] which also wrote, "President Trump is the most fact-challenged politician that The Fact Checker has ever encountered ... the pace and volume of the president's misstatements means that we cannot possibly keep up."[277] On Trump's 601st day in office, their tally exceeded 5,000 false or misleading claims, and it had risen to an average of 8.3 per day from 4.9 during his first 100 days in office.[281] According to one study, the rate of false statements has increased, with the percentage of his words that are part of a false claim rising over the course of his presidency.[279] In general, news organizations have been hesitant to label these statements as "lies".[282][283][279]
Along with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, if Trump is reelected, it would be the first time in American history that there have been four consecutive presidents who were elected to two terms.[35][36] If Trump completed his second term on January 20, 2025, he would be 78 years old and would have become the oldest person to serve as president, surpassing Ronald Reagan (who was 77 when he left office in 1989).[a]
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