Several people asked me this week about the 2020 presidential election. They want to know why I’m not writing about it yet. The main reason is that it’s too damn early. I prefer to focus on the fall election, which may well be of greater significance than 2020. I’m going to break my rule this one time in order to explain my temporary silence.
Another reason to skip 2020 chatter is that we’re uncertain if Trump will run again and who will muster the balls to challenge him in his own party. Republicans are all profile and no courage. It will take a deluge this fall for a candidate to pop their head above the parapets and challenge the Insult Comedian. I hope for a challenge because incumbents tend to lose when they face a serious primary opponent. Hell, even Poppy Bush lost in 1992 and his challenger was proto-Trumper Pat Buchanan. I’m skimming over the Perot factor because that was a fall phenomenon.
On the Democratic side, the early field is depressingly elderly. Surely we can do better than a septuagenarian: Biden, Warren, Hillary, and the gruff independent will all be too old. I’m not sure which fresh face I’d like to see atop the ticket but we’ve done well with candidates under 50 in the past: JFK, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama spring to mind this spring.
Then there’s the ultimate “why not me?” pretender: outgoing New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Trump’s fluke electoral college win will inspire others. It reminds me of the post-1976 political environment when Jimmy Carter’s out-of-nowhere victory inspired a generation of “why not me?” candidates. The chances of a big city mayor being nominated by either party are slim. The last former mayors to be Oval Ones were Calvin Coolidge and Grover Cleveland; both of whom became Governors first and one of whom was an accidental president. Remember the 2008 Giuliani or 1972 Lindsay farces? I thought not. Sorry, Mitch.
Endless speculation about 2020 is for weak minds like Chris Cillizza. Surely nobody out there wants me to be like that dolt? Besides, Democrats have been *too* fixated on the White House at the expense of down ballot races. Flipping Congress and as many leges and Governorships as possible is a worthy goal and will send a message to the Kaiser of Chaos.
I realize that I just wrote a quick and dirty essay about 2020 to explain why I’m not writing about it yet. It’s akin to falling off the wagon and explaining one’s fall. I hereby renew my pledge not to write about 2020 until the votes are counted this November. I almost said “believe me” but I’ve been admonished not to do so. I could bring back Carter’s “you can depend on that” line but given how that worked out in 1980, I’ll pass. Instead, let’s revive Al Gore’s line from 1992: “It’s time for them to go.”