It's never too soon to think about 2020. Let's figure out how to maximize the chances of defeating the Donald's re-election bid.
There's plenty of structural good news. The national electorate will continue to tilt Democratic. The state by state margins that put Trump over the top in the Electoral College are infinitesimal. The Republicans will finally be judged by what they do, not what they say. Trump will step in it from time to time and remind people of the personality they abhor, rather than the disrupter they hired.
There's a good deal to worry about. It's not clear that the Democrats are willing to accommodate the real grievances of the largely white, middle-class and mid-American voters they lost to Trump. Banking on the mistakes of the opposition is not a political strategy. And most problematic, there's no obvious standard-bearer.
You can't beat somebody with nobody. So who?
Here's the really good news. We have a young(ish), popular, articulate and shrewd potential candidate right before us. Obama needs a rest, can and will hold President Trump accountable, appeals to all segments of the electorate, and is immensely popular with voters.
Obama in 2020.
The contrast between Obama and Trump is stark and will grow starker. In matters of temperament and personal attractiveness, there's no comparison now and it will only get clearer. In terms of policy, the dismantling of Obamacare, the huge deficits, the Supreme Court appointments, the bizarro foreign policy gaffes are likely to emerge over the course of Trump's first term so boldly that voters will be able to chose between alternate realities on the core issues that matter in their lives.
It really is a no-brainer. As a matter of principle, politics and policy: Obama in 2020. Watch Obama in retirement. There will be nothing overt, or unreasonably political, or unfair to Trump. But Obama will float before the nation in unusual ways. And it will be discussed within the family. They're thinking about this too.
Obama in 2020.
Lest you think I've forgotten about the 22nd Amendment, I haven't. In 1947 Republicans pushed through a constitutional amendment, in the afterglow of FDR's four terms, limiting Presidents to two terms. They came to regret it in the Reagan afterglow but it makes a lot of sense. American democracy is always endangered by executive pre-eminence. Eight years is enough. So there goes Obama in 2020, right?
Shame on you. Obama is more than eligible. Michelle, not Barack. She's the smart, popular, articulate candidate mentioned above. This is not political chopped liver. Trump will be less vulnerable to a conventional pol than to a competing outsider. No obvious alternative exists. Michelle has spoken to the needs of voters who abandoned Hillary and who now have four years to regret their choice. She can do it. It makes sense. Think about it.
Properly, Michelle can't even wink at this kind of idea, and like most political sallies, events will define reality. But it's ok to dream. For those who wish to keep this flame alive, head over to and sign the petition People United For Michelle Obama in 2020. It's brief, uncomplicated and will certainly cause agita in the world of Trump. Let's see where this heads.
Obama in 2020.