In thirty years of following politics, this writer has never seen a president have the kind of week President Trump had. From impeachment to the economy to the Democrat Party primary, each day brought a new Trump victory. The president is in the midst of an impressive winning streak.
Last Monday, the parties held the Iowa Caucuses. The already complicated caucus process was complicated further by the Democrat’s use of an app to report vote totals. The app badly malfunctioned and, by midnight, not a single precinct had reported their caucus results. Democrat National Committee chair, Tom Perez, called for a recanvassing of the caucuses. The Democrat Party of Iowa refused. Not until Wednesday were Iowa Democrats able to report only partial results and the final tally didn’t come in until Friday. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg finished in a virtual tie with Sanders winning the popular vote but Buttigieg took away the most delegates. Buttigieg’s surge has come at former Vice President Joe Biden’s expense. Biden fell to a distant fourth with 15.78 percent of the vote. Republicans mocked the Dems wanting to nationalize whole industries but not even being able to count votes in Iowa. President Trump took 97 percent of the Republican caucus vote.
Sander’s Iowa win has panicked the centrist Democrat establishment. James Carville, the architect of Bill Clinton’s two presidential wins in the 90’s, said that Sander’s rise was turning the Democrat Party into an ‘ideological cult’ and warned that the Democrats might go the way of the British Labour party, which was wiped out in January’s parliamentary elections. Sanders favors ‘Medicare for all’ and confiscatory tax rates. ‘Wake up and make sure that we talk about things that are relevant to people,’ Carville said. Hillary Clinton joined Carville, saying that Sanders had ‘promised the moon’. The Sanders camp dismissed Carville as an out of touch 75-year-old. Of course, they loath Hillary. Carville’s preferred candidate, Joe Biden, in theory, looks strong. But, the energy in the Democrat party lies with young firebrands like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the hard left. The problem for the likes of Carville and Clinton is they don’t have a viable alternative to Sanders and his ideas. Biden stammers on stage, appears out of his depth, and looks like a man long past his prime. The Democrat centrists are fading.
On Tuesday, President Trump delivered his third State of the Union Address. Trump touted his administration’s economic record and created several sentimental made-for-TV moments. Trump further exasperated the rift in the Democrat Party by inviting Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido to the State of the Union and declaring he was the rightful president. Bernie Sanders and his followers support socialist president Nicholas Maduro. It was a great night for the president, one made greater by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s antics on the dais. Throughout the speech, she grimaced behind the president, gesticulated toward the Democrat caucus, and looked generally miserable. When President Trump finished the State of the Union, Pelosi ripped up the official copy of the address before the cameras. The GOP has already used Pelosi’s stunt in campaign commercials.
On Wednesday, the United States Senate acquitted President Trump of both articles of impeachment submitted by the House. Utah Senator Mitt Romney was the lone Republican to vote with the Democrats. Trump and the rest of the GOP mocked and taunted the failed 2012 Republican presidential nominee without mercy. Immediately after the acquittal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) filed cloture on four more Federal Judges as part of his effort to remake the judiciary. These will soon be approved by the Senate.
On Thursday, Trump held a small victory party in the East Wing of the White House. Before the cameras, Trump thanked his legal team and supporters. He spent most of the rest of the rally excoriating Pelosi and House impeachment managers Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jerold Nadler (D-NY) and the Deep State. Democrats pounced on the president’s failure to be magnanimous in victory, but the base loved it.
On Friday night, the Democrat presidential candidates debated in New Hampshire, which will hold the nation’s first primary this week. Joe Biden went on the offensive against Buttigieg and later released a devastating ad comparing his record at the Federal Level with Buttigieg’s record as mayor of a city of a hundred thousand people. The rest of the debate was dominated by liberal boutique issues like slavery reparations. New Hampshire’s population is 1.53% African American.
That morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report for January. The economy exceeded expectations and added 225,000 jobs last month. Also on Friday, Trump fired Colonel Alexander Vindemen (his twin brother as well who also worked in the National Security Council) and Ambassador Gordon Sondland, both of whom testified against him at the impeachment hearings.
Trump ended last week with a 49% approval rating in the Gallup and Rasmussen polls. This week Trump submits his Federal budget and begins his annual battle with the Democrats over spending priorities. The Democrat will hold their New Hampshire. Will Trump win again?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.