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Hello to all the great mothers, aunts, grandmothers, cousins and women who make this world a little kinder, smarter and gentler. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day. The weather certainly cooperated.
This op-ed is going to be in two parts. Part 1 will outline the reasons why Trump will win in a Biden/Trump rematch. Part 2 will detail the reasons that Biden will win.
Trump will prevail in 2024 against Joe Biden for reasons as simple as “right track, wrong track” numbers, Biden’s approval rating and the enduring devotion of Trump lovers who will vote during an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, snow storm, etc.
First of course, Trump would have to get the nomination and something tells me that will get very messy. If the Florida “tough guy” anti-woke creep with no personality, Ron DeSantis, who appears at first blush (but only first blush) to be the man Trump will have to defeat.
He’s much younger, articulate, has a young family and is the governor of a major state. In addition to that, it appears the “donor class” (sort of the people who actually fund campaigns as opposed to my or your $100 contribution) seem to think he’s got a better chance in a general election than Trump.
On paper, DeSantis says and does all the same odious and disgusting things that the base loves. “Florida is where woke goes to die,” “don’t say gay,” six-week (SIX!) abortion ban without exceptions and the rest. On the other hand, there is something about the guy that no one seems to like. He is boring in a way that Trump never is and doesn’t seem to have a “touch” with voters. When your advisors have to remind you to shake hands with voters, you’ve got a big problem in politics, especially at the presidential level. This column assumes that after a nasty knock-down, drag-out fight in the primaries and caucuses, Trump emerges as the nominee.
He then picks Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, maybe (but unlikely) Kari Lake the losing candidate last year for governor of Arizona (she also claims that election was “rigged”) or former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Yes, I would bet dollars to donuts it’s a woman. 100 percent.
How does the election shake out? The scenario where Trump wins goes something like this: While inflation is down from 2022 numbers, interest rates are still high and the U.S. is in or coming out of a mild recession (brought about by the interest rate hikes of the last year or so). Three-quarters or so of the American people think the nation is on the wrong track. There’s been no victory in Ukraine. Biden’s approval is hovering around 42, 43 percent.
In comes Trump. He plays the old hits like no one can. “The economy was the best in history under me” (it wasn’t but who cares). “The nation was the most respected on the planet under me” (it wasn’t). “The border was secure under me” (it wasn’t). “Girls were girls and men were men under me” (throwback to “All in the Family” for the oldsters reading this).
The 800-pound gorilla in this scenario: Biden will not be any younger, more energetic, sharper or more cognitively healthy in 15 or 20 months. The unspoken (actually, it will be spoken at an ear-piercing volume) is that Biden is cognitively impaired and, get ready for this … If Biden prevails we’re going to have a South Asian/ Black VP who no one seems to like as president inside of a year or two.
Let’s not minimize this gigantic issue, friends. Kamala Harris has done nothing different in two years as veep than any other VP in history (save maybe Dick Cheney). Exactly what did George H.W. Bush do differently as Reagan’s vice president? What did Al Gore do differently than Harris? What did Mike Pence do so differently?
For reasons that have to do more with gender and race with a little something about her likability, she might prove to be more of a drag on the ticket than is usually the case. No one really votes for VP. No one really cares. The idea of the veep becoming president always seems like a distant possibility.
In 2024, we would have to admit that it’s a lot more than distant. After all, Biden will be 82 if/when he is inaugurated in January 2025.
The debates turn out the usual way I’m guessing. Biden does just enough to appear sharp but, like it or not, he looks old. Trump, his repulsive size and diet apart, just appears to have unlimited energy. He never shuts up and while a total psycho in what he says, appears to be 10 years younger than Biden.
God forbid a slip up or health scare with Biden. Every mispronunciation will be blown completely out of proportion.
The results. Biden wins (Democrats will never again lose) the popular vote. Sadly, the 10 million+ victory is heavily skewed to New York, California, New England and a portion of but not the entire Midwest. Trump wins all the states he won in 2020 and also claws back Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania. With those wins, he prevails in the electoral college 280 to 258, 10 more than he needs.
My next column will outline how Biden actually wins, sort of handily, for a host of reasons. Until next time, don’t get too upset or despondent. There’s a path and it’s, just possibly, even more likely than the one detailed here.
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