I have wobbled back and forth on the idea of supporting President Trump in 2020. I opposed him in 2016 and voted third party. The candidate I supported, Evan McMullin, has, like so many others, abandoned all his values as his hatred of Trump poisons his conscience. I dare say the worst mistake in my life was not climbing a mountain only to remember I was scared of heights or playing with a scalpel that nearly cut off my finger as a kid. It was voting for McMullin.
But the most aggressive of the candidates-in-waiting by far has been Vice President Mike Pence. He has so far survived in Trumpworld by making sure that he is the first among equals in a West Wing full of suck-ups. (At a Cabinet meeting in December 2017, Pence praised Trump 14 times in three minutes.) “Pence wants to inherit the Trump base, so that’s why you see him saying these obsequious things. It’s so pathetic,” a prominent Republican said. In January 2017, Pence started a PAC, America First Policies. “Pence has a better political operation than the White House has. I’ve never seen that before,” Ed Rollins said. Pence has tight relationships with powerful donors, including the Koch brothers and billionaire Todd Ricketts. “Republican members of Congress like Pence. They’d much rather have Pence than Trump,” a top Republican strategist said.
Trump's presidential ambitions were generally not taken seriously at the time.[365] Trump's moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.[363][366][367] Before the 2016 election, The New York Times speculated that Trump "accelerated his ferocious efforts to gain stature within the political world" after Obama lampooned him at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in April 2011.[368]
Stepien, a 40-year-old New Jersey operative, is an Establishment Republican out of central casting: trim, well dressed, and with impeccable hair. He was recruited to join the Trump campaign in August 2016, after befriending Kushner, and his current job is to effectively reverse-engineer a method to Trump’s madness. Despite the gloomy outlook for Republicans—a recent Real Clear Politics poll average showed Democrats with a six-point advantage—Stepien did his best to spin the White House’s message that Republicans could limit the damage in the midterms. “This is not an easy time to run and win as a Republican,” Stepien conceded. “[Trump] is trying to get all the people who voted for him in 2016 back out to the polls in 2018. The goal is to make those people who are presidential-year voters into midterm-election voters.”
For this, Democrats can thank (or blame) Donald Trump. His election in 2016 showed that the barriers to entry to the White House weren’t nearly as formidable as political professionals once assumed. More important, Mr. Trump at the moment seems eminently beatable, with an approval rating hovering just south of 40 percent. No other president in the era of approval polling (going back to the 1930s) has been this unpopular at this point in his presidency.

Trump’s electoral base wouldn’t mind a handful of ideological betrayals since rank-and-file Republicans are really here for the culture war stuff and not for the concrete policy anyway. So Trump would enter the 2020 campaign with his base intact but also with the brand as a freethinking moderate who’s at odds with the right wing of congressional Republicans. Democrats would end up nominating someone with a relatively extreme rejectionist profile, and Trump would be in a good position to improve his approval ratings and get reelected.


Jump up ^ Jan, Tracy (October 14, 2016). "More women accuse Trump of aggressive sexual behavior". The Boston Globe. Trump has been confronted with a slew of allegations of sexual misconduct over the past week, starting with a report in The Washington Post of a 2005 tape featuring him bragging about forcibly kissing women and grabbing them by the genitals.
After the White House this summer claimed that Sen. Kamala Harris is “supporting the animals of MS-13,” the California Democrat — widely considered a potential 2020 contender — very quickly fired back, tweeting that she actually had fought gangs and transnational criminal organizations as a prosecutor before her election to the Senate. “That's being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers,” Harris said, using a second tweet to enlist supporters.
Trump's paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, first immigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16 and became a citizen in 1892.[20] He amassed a fortune operating boomtown restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada during its gold rush.[20] On a visit to Kallstadt, he met Elisabeth Christ and married her in 1902. The couple permanently settled in New York in 1905.[21] Frederick died from influenza during the 1918 pandemic.[22]

If you want a pop cultural equivalent for this, consider America’s movie heroes of that time, actors like John Wayne and Gary Cooper, whose Westerns and, in the case of Wayne, war movies, were iconic. What’s striking when you look back at them from the present moment is this: while neither of those actors was anything but an imposing figure, they were also remarkably ordinary looking. They were in no way over-muscled, nor were they over-armed in the modern fashion. It was only in the years after the Vietnam War, when the country had absorbed what felt like a grim defeat, been wracked by oppositional movements, riots, and assassinations, when a general sense of loss had swept over the polity, that the over-muscled hero, the exceptional killing machine, made the scene. (Think Rambo.)


On January 27, 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13769, which suspended admission of refugees for 120 days and denied entry to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days, citing security concerns. The order was imposed without warning and took effect immediately.[579] Confusion and protests caused chaos at airports.[580][581] The administration then clarified that visitors with a green card were exempt from the ban.[582][583]

Vice President Mike Pence strongly denied charges lodged by an August 5 New York Times report, which speculated that the Vice President was orchestrating a "shadow campaign" for the presidency in the 2020 election.[159][160] Pence called the accusations "disgraceful and offensive" and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway called the story a "complete fiction, complete fabrication".[160][161][162][148]


Shortly after taking office, Trump put Iran 'on notice' following their ballistic missile tests on January 29, 2017.[640] In February 2018, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran's 25 individuals and entities, which it said were but "initial steps", with Trump's National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn adding that "the days of turning a blind eye to Iran's hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over."[641][642][643]
In January 2018, The Washington Post reported that Mueller wants to interview Trump about the removal of Michael Flynn and James Comey.[733] Trump has expressed a willingness to do the interview; according to The New York Times, some of his lawyers have warned against doing so. Mueller can subpoena Trump to testify if Trump refuses.[734] As of March 2018, Trump is reportedly a "subject" of the investigation, meaning his conduct is being looked at, but not a "target" which would indicate the likelihood of criminal charges.[735]
If she runs, Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, would instantaneously be the Democrats’ putative front-runner. Her anti-corporate agenda has made her a fund-raising powerhouse, and she seems to have found an ideological sweet spot between the centrist Clinton and populist Sanders factions. Additionally, thanks to the “Nevertheless she persisted” meme, she’s become a feminist heroine.
The dustup strained relations between Trump and Pence advisers. “Nick really fucked up,” a Republican close to the White House told me. “He got way out over his skis,” said a former West Wing official. Seeking to mend fences, Pence invited Corey Lewandowski to join his PAC, knowing that Trump sees Lewandowski as supremely loyal. “Corey was sent there to keep eyes on Pence,” the former official said. “Pence is politically adept. But at the end of the day, he’s still not good at faking sincerity,” former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said. “Trump’s not an idiot. He knows it.”

Starting in 2011, Trump was a major proponent of "birther" conspiracy theories alleging that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and questioned his eligibility to serve as president.[288][289] Trump later took credit for pushing the White House to release the "long-form" birth certificate from Hawaii,[290][291][292] and he stated during his presidential campaign that his stance had made him "very popular".[293] In September 2016, he publicly acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States,[294] and falsely claimed that the rumors had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign.[295]
Look, I get it. Money has become so plentiful in American politics -- every two years cash floods the system through a variety of super PACs and other newfangled entities aimed at skirting campaign finance law -- that there's a tendency, even among political junkies, to get a little glassy-eyed when it comes to talk of unprecedented amounts of money being harvested earlier and earlier in the election cycle.
Trump held his eighth campaign rally on August 22 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.[170][171] The rally was the campaign's first event in the Western United States.[172] Before attending the rally, Trump toured a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.[173] In addition to the president, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson also spoke at the rally,[173] with Carson's appearance being criticized as possibly in violation of the Hatch Act of 1939 due to his status as current HUD secretary.[28][174][175] Phoenix's Mayor Greg Stanton had repeatedly asked that Trump postpone the event after the protests in Charlottesville.[176]
In late January 2017 several members of Trump's 2016 campaign staff formed America First Policies, a pro-Trump political nonprofit. Those involved included former deputy campaign chairs Rick Gates and David Bossie. Brad Parscale[258] and Katrina Pierson were also involved. Additionally involved were Nick Ayers and Marty Obst, both of whom served as advisors to Mike Pence during the 2016 campaign.[259] Trump's former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh has also joined the organization.[101] Near the end of May, members of the organization (including Walsh) participated in meetings at the RNC's D.C. offices with members Trump's family to discuss campaign strategy.[101][102][103]
Perhaps, Trump believes, America was great during the World War I era. In the early 20th century, women died from childbirth in huge numbers. Children, too, perished at astounding rates. Married women typically couldn't open their own bank accounts or have independent access to their money. Birth control — even talking about the benefits of birth control — was largely illegal. Jim Crow laws were in full effect, with the Supreme Court holding a few years earlier that keeping the races "separate but equal" was just fine and dandy (although of course in reality, separate meant vastly unequal). The Ku Klux Klan continued to gain in popularity. For years, Congress wasn't even able to outlaw lynching: Southern Democrats, then the party that represented conservatives whites in the South, repeatedly defeated anti-lynching bills. 
Trump's father Fred was born in 1905 in the Bronx. Fred started working with his mother in real estate when he was 15, shortly after his father's death. Their company, "E. Trump & Son",[nb 2] founded in 1923,[27] was primarily active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Fred eventually built and sold thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments.[22][28] In 1971, Donald Trump was made president of the company, which was later renamed the Trump Organization.[29]
Some of the party’s top potential 2020 candidates are testing a barrage of early — and unusually explicit — race-related appeals in the run-up to the next presidential campaign. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pledged not to be “shut up” by critics of “identity politics.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has drawn attention to the disproportionate number of nonwhite people incarcerated in a system he said has “criminalized poverty.”
In 1980, repairs began on Central Park's Wollman Rink, with an anticipated two-and-a-half year construction time frame. Because of flaws in the design and numerous problems during construction, the project remained unfinished by May 1986 and was estimated to require another 18 months and $2 million to $3 million to complete.[122][123] Trump was awarded a contract as the general contractor in June 1986 to finish the repairs by December 15 with a cost ceiling of $3 million, with the actual costs to be reimbursed by the city.[123] Trump hired an architect, a construction company, and a Canadian ice-rink manufacturer and completed the work in four months, $775,000 under budget.[123] He operated the rink for a year and gave some of the profits to charity and public works projects[124] in exchange for the rink's concession rights.[125][123] Trump managed the rink from 1987 to 1995. He received another contract in 2001 which was extended until 2021.[126][127] According to journalist Joyce Purnick, Trump's "Wollman success was also the stuff of a carefully crafted, self-promotional legend."[126] While the work was in progress, Trump called numerous press conferences, for example for the completion of the laying of the pipes and the pouring of the cement.[128] In 1987, he also unsuccessfully tried to get the city to rename the landmark after him; the Trump logo is prominently displayed on the railing encircling the rink, on the Zamboni,[126] on the rental skates,[127] and on the rink's website.[127][129]
During the campaign, Trump often used the slogan, especially by wearing hats emblazoned with the phrase in white letters, which soon became popular among his supporters.[18] The slogan was so important to the campaign that it spent more on making the hats – sold for $25 each on its website – than on polling, consultants, or television commercials; the candidate claimed that "millions" were sold.[15] Following Trump's election, the website of his presidential transition was established at greatagain.gov.[19] President Trump stated in January 2017 that the slogan of his 2020 reelection campaign would be "Keep America Great" and immediately ordered a lawyer to trademark it.[15] Trump tweeted “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” on September 1, 2018,[20] apparently in response to Meghan McCain telling about 3,000 mourners at John McCain’s memorial service “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.” [21]
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels has alleged that she and Trump had an affair in 2006,[739] which Trump denied.[740] In January 2018, it was reported that just before the 2016 presidential election Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen as part of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); Cohen later said he paid her with his own money.[741] In February 2018, Daniels sued Cohen's company asking to be released from the NDA and be allowed to tell her story. Cohen obtained a restraining order to keep her from discussing the case.[742][743] In March, Daniels claimed in court that the NDA never came into effect because Trump did not sign it personally.[744] In April, Trump said that he did not know about Cohen paying Daniels, why Cohen had made the payment or where Cohen got the money from.[745] In May, Trump's annual financial disclosure revealed that he reimbursed Cohen in 2017 for payments related to Daniels.[746] In August 2018, in a case brought by the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,[747] Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to breaking campaign finance laws, admitting to paying hush money of $130,000 to Daniels and $150,000 indirectly to Playboy model Karen McDougal, and said that he did it at the direction of Trump,[748][749] with the aim of influencing the presidential election.[750] In response, Trump said that he only knew about the payments "later on", and that he paid back Cohen personally, not out of campaign funds.[751] Cohen also said he would cooperate fully with the Special Counsel investigation into collusion with Russia.[752]
The Trump administration has been characterized by high turnover, particularly among White House staff. By the end of Trump's first year in office, 34 percent of his original staff had resigned, been fired, or been reassigned.[679] As of early July 2018, 61 percent of Trump's senior aides had left[680] and 141 staffers had left in the past year.[681] Both figures set a record for recent presidents—more change in the first 13 months than his four immediate predecessors saw in their first two years.[682] Notable early departures included National Security Advisor Mike Flynn (after just 25 days in office), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, replaced by retired Marine General John F. Kelly on July 28, 2017,[683] and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.[682] Close personal aides to Trump such as Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller, have quit or been forced out.[684]

Presidential approval polls taken during the first ten months of Trump's term have shown him to be the least popular U.S. president in the history of modern opinion polls.[266][267][268] A Pew Research Center global poll conducted in July 2017, found "a median of just 22 percent has confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs". This compares to a median of 64 percent rate of confidence for his predecessor Barack Obama. Trump received a higher rating in only two countries: Russia and Israel.[269] An August 2017 POLITICO/Morning consult poll found on some measures "that majorities of voters have low opinions of his character and competence".[270] Trump is the only elected president who did not place first on Gallup's poll of men Americans most admired in his first year in office, coming in second behind Barack Obama.[271][272]
In 1980, repairs began on Central Park's Wollman Rink, with an anticipated two-and-a-half year construction time frame. Because of flaws in the design and numerous problems during construction, the project remained unfinished by May 1986 and was estimated to require another 18 months and $2 million to $3 million to complete.[122][123] Trump was awarded a contract as the general contractor in June 1986 to finish the repairs by December 15 with a cost ceiling of $3 million, with the actual costs to be reimbursed by the city.[123] Trump hired an architect, a construction company, and a Canadian ice-rink manufacturer and completed the work in four months, $775,000 under budget.[123] He operated the rink for a year and gave some of the profits to charity and public works projects[124] in exchange for the rink's concession rights.[125][123] Trump managed the rink from 1987 to 1995. He received another contract in 2001 which was extended until 2021.[126][127] According to journalist Joyce Purnick, Trump's "Wollman success was also the stuff of a carefully crafted, self-promotional legend."[126] While the work was in progress, Trump called numerous press conferences, for example for the completion of the laying of the pipes and the pouring of the cement.[128] In 1987, he also unsuccessfully tried to get the city to rename the landmark after him; the Trump logo is prominently displayed on the railing encircling the rink, on the Zamboni,[126] on the rental skates,[127] and on the rink's website.[127][129]
On January 23, 2017, Trump ordered a temporary government-wide hiring freeze, except for those working in certain areas.[538][539] The Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office told a House committee that hiring freezes have not proven to be effective in reducing costs.[540] Unlike some past freezes, the current freeze bars agencies from adding contractors to make up for employees leaving.[540] A week later Trump signed Executive Order 13771, which directed administrative agencies to repeal two existing regulations for every new regulation they issue.[541][542] Agency defenders expressed opposition to Trump's criticisms, saying that the bureaucracy exists to protect people against well-organized, well-funded interest groups.[543]
The lock-hold that the American left has handcuffed the African American vote with is both cultural and economic. And while President Trump will — like all GOP Presidents in the era — not likely gain the majority of African American votes, even an increase of 15-20% of their overall votes would trigger a seismic landslide. Consider that Bush was able to improve the lives of many by increased home-ownership. Consider that President Obama oversaw a rapid decline in the lives of African Americans. Then consider that no group has benefitted more from Trump reforms, deregulation, and job creation initiatives than the nation’s African Americans. But also consider the cultural impact President Trump is making on the issue of prison reform, cracking down on dangerous gang activity (of which minorities are the overwhelming majority of victims,) and pardoning African Americans wrongfully imprisoned, and their is a cultural shift occurring that no one is yet reporting. That he is even reaching out to the very sports figures who have opposed him and embracing cultural figures and giving them audience to hear their hearts and minds in order to achieve justice on some social level—is a picture that African American communities are unaccustomed to seeing. President Obama’s went to black churches, put in affected speech patterns, and bemoaned conditions. By contrast President Trump invites them to the White House, listens to their legitimate complaints and plots solutions. I would not be surprised if he were to break 30% of African American support in 2020.
Jump up ^ Thomas, Pierre (June 19, 2017). "Where things stand with special counsel Mueller's Russia probe". ABC News. According to sources familiar with the process ... [a]n assessment of evidence and circumstances will be completed before a final decision is made to launch an investigation of the president of the United States regarding potential obstruction of justice.
Trump’s electoral base wouldn’t mind a handful of ideological betrayals since rank-and-file Republicans are really here for the culture war stuff and not for the concrete policy anyway. So Trump would enter the 2020 campaign with his base intact but also with the brand as a freethinking moderate who’s at odds with the right wing of congressional Republicans. Democrats would end up nominating someone with a relatively extreme rejectionist profile, and Trump would be in a good position to improve his approval ratings and get reelected.
Vice President Mike Pence strongly denied charges lodged by an August 5 New York Times report, which speculated that the Vice President was orchestrating a "shadow campaign" for the presidency in the 2020 election.[159][160] Pence called the accusations "disgraceful and offensive" and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway called the story a "complete fiction, complete fabrication".[160][161][162][148]
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