Most of last year I groused that the campaign season for the presidential election was too bloomin’ long. It started heating up in mid-2015, nearly a year-and-a-half before the election. My humble opinion is that 3-6 months is plenty long to subject us to the endless drivel and detritus that defines campaigns in this country. But now … NOW … the campaigns for the 2020 election are already building momentum! I want to close my eyes, put my headphones on and listen to classical music for the next three-and-a-half years! But alas, we have already seen what wearing blinders and earplugs does, so …
Not only have candidates begun speaking at events and cozying up to major-dollar donors, but even Trump himself has been holding campaign-style rallies in places he knows he can succeed in rustling up a crowd that is still friendly to him. Note that you do not see him doing pep rallies in New York or San Francisco!
Among those starting to act like candidates are Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Mike Pence … whoa … Mike Pence? Did I just say Mike Pence, as in current 2nd banana? Of course, we all hope and believe that the head clown will not be on the 2020 ballot, but this is 2017, a full 39 months before the next presidential election! There is rather an umwritten law … or perhaps it is written … second banana will remain quietly in the background, supporting the first banana no matter how rotten, until such time as the first banana is no longer a viable candidate. Now, were Trump in his second term, then yes, this would be in the paramaters of normal, though it is still far too early. But in his first term?
According to Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns of the New York Times, Pence is “creating an independent power base, cementing his status as Mr. Trump’s heir apparent and promoting himself as the main conduit between the Republican donor class and the administration. The vice president created his own political fund-raising committee, Great America Committee, shrugging off warnings from some high-profile Republicans that it would create speculation about his intentions.”
When the aforementioned article came out on Saturday, Mike Pence had a moment of panic, knowing that retaliation from Trump would be swift and painful, so he put out the following statement:
“Today’s article in The New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team. The allegations in this article are categorically false and are just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration.”
Only thing is, he lies, for as The Washington Post notes, “Pence has been meeting with donors, has been creating an independent power base (as the Times reported), has hired a politically combatant chief of staff and has been the main channel of communication between Trump and Republicans on the Hill.”
But what Pence apparently fails to consider is that he has thrown his lot in with Trump, for better or for worse, and his fate or fortune is closely linked to that of Trump. And with that said, I do not wish to discuss the 2020 election until at least the middle of 2019, though I realize that is a pipe dream, given the current state of chaos in the current administration. My only hope is that by 2020, Donald Trump is either banished to Siberia or else wearing an orange jumpsuit and busting rocks by day.
One interesting, humorous note: It would seem that there is already an unofficial slogan for the 2020 election …
There are already t-shirts, sweatshirts, phone cases, wall art, coffee mugs and bumper stickers available, folks. Sigh. Gonna be a long three-and-a-half years, folks.