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Outsiders vs. Insiders: It’s never too early to work for the second term of Donald Trump

Like with most other aspects of the political world Donald Trump appears to be a step ahead of his competitors -- both Republicans and Democrats -- in preparing for the certain-to-be-contentious 2020 presidential campaign. Usually facing little or no primary opposition, presidents typically wait until much later in their first term to formally announce their reelection plans -- but once again, Trump broke the mold the other day.

Trump HeritageTrump’s running; he’s all in; he’s in it to win it; no hesitations…let’s get on with it.

From the outset it appears Trump’s second and “final” campaign will have a different look than his first, including new leadership at the top.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reported, “Brad Parscale has some interesting shoes to fill.

“The San Antonio-based digital marketing strategist joined a list of high-profile names on Tuesday when he was tapped to run President Trump’s 2020 campaign.

“Parscale, a longtime friend of the first family, will follow in the footsteps of former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, the first woman ever to lead a successful presidential campaign; former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been charged with felonies in the Russia probe; former Trump campaign chief executive Steve Bannon, who was excommunicated from Trump world earlier this year; and Corey Lewandowski, the president’s first campaign manager who still chats with him on a near-weekly basis.”

Yes, Trump’s political inner circle included quite a cast of interesting characters. 2020 will surely be no different.

Parscale’s elevation to campaign chief apparently has the establishment GOP consultant class scratching their heads since special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is ongoing and there are any number of independent lawyers snooping around the data archives of the 2016 effort searching for dirt to link Trump to Russia – which could include Parscale’s hemisphere.

Evidently Parscale is best known for working with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to harness social media’s power to micro-target rural voters in swing states – the Hillary-labeled “deplorables” difference-maker Trump devotees in places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Whereas (2016 campaign manager) Kellyanne Conway had a distinguished background in polling and had her finger on the political pulse of the “forgotten Americans,” Parscale looks to be a guy who digitally roots people out and motivates them to vote.

As of this week Trump tallied over 24.4 million followers on Facebook (including 23.1 million likes) and 48.4 million Twitter followers. In the 2016 election Trump won   62,984,825 votes (Hillary Clinton had 65,853,516). Not all of Trump’s social media followers are voters and everyone’s not necessarily a fan of his but there’s little doubt he’s already amassed an impressive outreach head start on anyone who could potentially challenge him.

Add the enormous advantages presidential incumbency brings and you’ve got a heck of a basis to begin a campaign. The vitals of the economy are strong and Trump’s approval rating is ticking upward ever so slowly (the Rasmussen poll of likely voters has it just about even at 50-48 approve/disapprove). Considering Trump won the 2016 election with significantly lower polling numbers means his worst case scenario is a competitive election that hinges on the leanings of a few key states.

In other words, 2020 should be like every other presidential election. In addition, these popularity surveys don’t include much time for the Republican tax cuts to take hold – when they do it’s reasonable to assume American voters will be in a very good mood. But a lot can happen between now and then. We’ll see.

Even his announcement was vintage Trump, revealed via an exclusive by the Drudge Report.

Mairead McArdle reported at National Review, “’Just one year into his presidency, Trump will stun the political world by announcing he is running for re-election in 2020. Digital guru Brad Parscale will be named campaign manager, Drudge Report has learned,’ the site read.

“The announcement is the earliest an incumbent president has ever announced his bid for re-election. The previous record was held by President Obama, who made his second campaign announcement 582 days before the general election date. Trump broke the news 980 days before Election Day.”

There must be many reasons why Trump gave the go-ahead to declare for reelection in late February of 2018 (over 31 months ahead of the 2020 vote) but he didn’t provide any specifics.

Here’s thinking it was to: one, dump cold water on the raging speculative fires that Trump’s contemplating leaving the presidency after one term; two, to prove, once again, that his quest to Make America Great Again isn’t just some grand stunt to inflate his celebrity legacy and provide a foundation for a Trump TV/media empire; three, pull the rug out from under any potential GOP challengers who’ve been drawing media attention through spreading false rumors about his future plans (are you listening, John Kasich?).

Four, to ramp up fundraising. Everyone knows Democrats will be loaded for bear in 2020 with frustrated leftist billionaires pulling out all the financial stops to ensure the Trump experiment lasts only four years (assuming the Dems won’t impeach him earlier). Trump invested a lot of his own money into the 2016 campaign but who knows about 2020 – it may be up to the rest of us to foot the bill for his second go ‘round.

Five, injecting an ounce of certainty into the presidential future puts Republican candidates at all levels on notice they can run with confidence on the issues contained in the Trump platform. With the influence of the GOP #NeverTrump faction waning by the day the party can move ahead with popular-majority proposals for candidates everywhere – to nationalize the election.

Lastly (there are more, but it’s a long campaign, right?) and most importantly, Trump realizes he can’t get it all done in four years’ time. With the snail-like pace of legislation and the uncertainty accompanying every two-year congressional cycle it’s just not possible to push the big agenda items through quickly enough. This is perhaps the most significant lesson Trump’s learned since taking the oath of office – there’s only one drain in the Washington swamp and it keeps getting clogged by political posturing and pontificating.

Democrats have been nearly unanimous in their #resistance and obstruction since day one and as was confirmed by last year’s fruitless fight over Obamacare repeal, Republicans aren’t exactly amalgamated around action on the Trump agenda either. The Senate may be more cooperative after this year’s midterm elections (with additional GOP senators), but it’s also conceivable the House could swing to Democrat control for the next two years. If that’s the case, goodbye Trump agenda for that period of time.

The senate needs additional leeway to confirm quality nominees to fill judicial vacancies as well. The last thing Trump would want to do is provide Democrats an excuse to stall the process even further with the impression of a lame duck presidency.

Trump has been remarkably successful thus far, but one term still won’t do it. Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reported, “With unprecedented speed, the Trump administration has already implemented nearly two-thirds of the 334 agenda items called for by the Heritage Foundation, a pace faster than former President Reagan who embraced the conservative think tank’s legendary ‘Mandate for Leadership’ blueprint.

“Thomas Binion, director of congressional and executive branch relations at Heritage, said that Trump has implemented 64 percent of the ‘unique policy recommendations’ from the group. At this stage of his presidency, Reagan had completed 49 percent of the Heritage policy recommendations.

“‘We’re blown away,’ Binion said in an interview. Trump, he said, ‘is very active, very conservative, and very effective.’”

Bedard’s article contains a helpful short list of Trump’s accomplishments – quite extraordinary considering he’s only been in office a little over 13 months. Perhaps not so coincidentally Binion thinks Trump’s successes set him up for a reelection agenda to run on and confirms the widely held notion Trump is a doer who keeps his promises.

After eight years of the tradition-busting Obama administration it’s refreshing to have his successor implementing policies conservatives have been mulling over for decades. Trump may be a little rough around the edges and willing to compromise way too much with the opposition (on DACA and gun rights) but as indicated above he’s also providing Republican candidates with real issues to base their campaigns on.

Trump is who he is and there’s little indication he plans to change the way he operates. Trump’s tweets draw less outrage from the media these days – maybe they just gave up – and as noted in previous columns, his presidential demeanor is improving. Could it be Trump’s learned to “behave” like a president?

It’s well past time all Republicans and conservatives healed any remaining differences with the DC outsider and united to fulfill Trump’s Heritage Foundation-approved agenda. We know Trump’s personality and tweets still get on some people’s nerves, but the evidence is there the president delivers on the matters that add points to the scoreboard.

Roger L. Simon wrote at PJ Media, “[Trump] is our Rorschach test, our mirror. He tells us as much, if not more, about ourselves as we do about him. Those who cherish good manners and a certain measure of formality and protocol despise the man. Those who call themselves progressive and, usually, don't pay much attention to good manners and certainly not formality (cf. pussy hats) despise him even more. They see in him what they want, like that Rorschach ink blot.

“Then there are those of us who are contrarian by nature.  We enjoy Donald just because he wants to shake things up.  (Yes, like it or not, I have that trait.)  Others like him because they feel as if they were neglected for a long time, the forgotten men and women.

“Most of this is only tangentially related to policies.  It's about our personalities and our culture.  That is why someone like [Wall Street Journal op-ed writer Joseph] Epstein who agrees with virtually everything Trump has done can be so squeamish.”

There’s little room for personality conflicts now; sometimes we just need faith in the primary system to weed out the weakest candidates and support the ones who emerge victorious -- as Trump did two years ago. Conservatives must get involved at the local level to ensure good conservative candidates are placed on general election ballots. After that, work like crazy to beat the Democrats.

With his early declaration of intention to run again in 2020 President Trump demonstrated he’s all-in on his agenda and committed to making America great again. In doing so Trump proved he’s a man of action and resolve. It’s time we got to work to ensure he gets his second term.

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Trump Reelection? Not if he succeeds in stomping out liberty

Yes, President Trump has accomplished a lot and mostly conservative, but he will be in big trouble if he is successful at stomping out our liberties by destroying major portions of the Bill of Rights. An old military saying is that 100 attaboys are offset by one awe sh**t.