Two developments happened recently that are indications of where the 2020 race is going. Terry McAuliffe decided not to run and Bernie Sanders did a Fox News Town Hall show where he dodged and shucked his way through the questions. Except when they concerned Donald Trump. Then he was as direct as a laser.
Both happenings bode well for the president, as McAuliffe could have given him trouble and Sanders may focus on Trump. Hillary showed that strategy as a road to destruction, but the old commie couldn’t care less. His cranky uncle show will go on regardless.
I know some of you, before wiping away your drool, will say on McAuliffe, “Ain’t no one gonna beat mah president. Jesus and Q done sent him.” Probably without the savior or loony conspiracy theory reference, George H.W. Bush acolytes said the same thing in 1991 right after Desert Storm when Poppy’s numbers were stratospheric. He lost office the next year. The president’s numbers are in the mid-forties. Not bad and I think he’ll be reelected.
But strange things happen in politics, which is the reason Trump is in office in the first place. McAuliffe is way more moderate than most Dems (which was likely the main factor for his decision), had a relatively above-average record as governor of swing state Virginia, and could raise money like a fiend. All would have made him formidable.
Sanders sounded like a scared man on Fox. He played the annoyed mensch routine when asked about anything negative towards himself like his millionaire status, the whopping price tag of his proposals, or the college corruption scandal embroiling he and his wife. They tried to bribe the croquet coach at Yale to recruit Angela Davis.
I might have made the Davis thing up, as a caution to those of you who don’t get preppy sport/communist terrorist jokes.
His fear showed when the questioners got close to policy. He did his best to play down the socialism and obfuscate his past. But even he wasn’t buying it, no matter the stacked audience reactions. He doesn’t want anybody looking under the hood. He knows what they’ll find. Hence the fear.
So that will be his modus operandi. When pressed he’ll shrug and attack the messenger and try to change the subject by further shrugging or attacking the president. The angry prophet routine might work on campus, but adult voters in a general election, seeing the obvious dissimulation and the price tags, will beg off. If they don’t demure in the primary, so much the better for Trump because running against Bernie and setting up a direct referendum on socialism versus capitalism should gain the president at least forty states and a popular-vote win.
Other Dems know this and may be letting Sanders have his day. Or perhaps even will sacrifice the nomination to give him his shot and retire him to pasture after his colossal pranging at the hands of the guy from Queens. That oughta clear the decks.
Either way, odds are Bernie continues down this road. His arrogance, delusional ambition, and Bolshie conditioning can allow nothing else.
Good news for the president. Better news for the rest of us.