The grand plans of Democrats and never-Trumpers have been undergoing a slow metamorphosis over past fifteen months. There was always talk of impeachment coming from some of the more strident voices, pretty much since inauguration day. Then there were most complicated schemes involving the 25th Amendment and cabinet members willing to declare Donald Trump incapacitated by mental illness, moving Mike Pence into the top slot. Another option was to create such a cloud of perceived scandals, investigations and allegedly imminent arrests inside the Oval Office that Trump would feel compelled to resign in disgrace.
At least thus far, none of these plans have borne fruit. Now, some of Trump’s most vocal critics seem to have reached the point of acceptance as they work through the five stages of grief. But that doesn’t mean that hope has faded entirely. While they may not be able to rid themselves of Trump today, some are taking comfort in the idea that he won’t be around for eight years. Why? MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough explains in his latest Washington Post column that Trump will be gone soon enough because he’s clearly not going to run for a second term. And that brings him to the subject of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and her recent conflict with the White House over sanctions on Russia. Might she be the one to unseat “The Donald” in two years?
It’s becoming clear that Trump will not be running for president in 2020…
Other White House officials played down Haley’s remarks, describing America’s representative at the United Nations as “confused.”
Haley’s response to the charge was as sharp as it was telling.
“With all due respect, I do not get confused.”
With those nine words, the ambassador declared that, unlike most other members of Trump’s Cabinet, she would not allow herself to be humiliated by a political day trader, whose fitful 15 minutes of fame will come to a close long before a new president takes the oath of office in 2021.
Still, another scenario came to mind this week: How wonderful would it be for our daughters to see this woman — this daughter of immigrants — take a debate stage to coldly cut the Donald down to size, revealing to the world once and for all that this bloated emperor has no clothes?
What a sight that would be.
I would be remiss at this point if I failed to point out yet again that this is coming from Joe Scarborough. Joe is far from stupid and he’s been steeped in American politics, both from the inside and as part of the media, for a very long time. But his response to the Trump presidency has been rather… let’s just say “energetic.” Morning Joe has, for some time now, devolved into an endless orgy of insinuations, accusations and attacks on Donald Trump which seem to flip back and forth between alternating claims that he’s either an evil genius, conspiring with his Russian super-spy buddies to overthrow our nation or a doddering mental patient, too clueless to tie his own shoes without tripping and falling. If the Russian army showed up Monday morning and was parachuting down on the National Mall like a scene out of Red Dawn, the best the MoJo crew would probably manage to do would be to show it on a split screen while they continued talking about the latest quote Stormy Daniels offered up at a New Jersey strip club.
But even with all of that on the table, Joe still raises a question worth considering. Looking at how this presidency has played out so far, how sure are we that President Trump will really run for a second term? He fired up his 2020 campaign before he’d had time to learn the names of his Secret Service agents and they’re fundraising on a daily basis, so that’s one argument in favor of him being serious about going for two terms. He also never seems to be lacking in confidence, either on his Twitter account or during public appearances. Would he really just quit and go back to Trump Tower?
I’m not so sure we can rule it out entirely. Despite all of his bravado and self-assurance, I still maintain that there were probably few people more surprised on the evening of the 2016 election to see Trump declared the victor than Trump himself. The President loves a good fight, obviously, and he’s getting plenty of them as president. But he clearly also likes people to like him. I truly believe that Donald Trump thought people were largely going to get onboard with his agenda once he was in office and they got the chance to see him in action. Despite the negative coverage he received on the campaign trail, I don’t think he ever anticipated the level of antipathy and loathing he would encounter from not only the media but liberal activist groups across the nation. Too many foreign leaders are treating him like he has the plague. And I seriously doubt he fully anticipated the depth of the so-called deep state and the lack of support he’d be getting from those serving under him in Washington.
Given all of this, do you really believe that Trump is enjoying being President? I’m not talking about whether or not he can stand up to his opponents and solider on. I’m asking if you really believe that he likes his job. If he has to keep putting up with all of this for four straight years (remembering that he’s not getting any younger) why would he want to stick around for four more of the same? And that’s just assuming he wins. The one other thing we know for sure about Donald Trump is that he loves winning and despises the thought of losing. If his poll numbers are down so far by the end of next year that even he begins to doubt his chances, would he go through another bruising campaign only to risk being kicked out by the voters? It’s always better to quit than be fired, or so I’ve believed.
Joe Scarborough seems to feel that it’s the weight of the footsteps haunting Trump’s every move which will lead him to drop out of the race. I rather doubt it. But given the President’s experiences in office thus far, I’m not entirely sure that the result won’t be the same. Joe may be right. I’d wager that Trump is already pondering whether or not he might be “one and done.”