Forget Donald Trump. What you need to know about the 2020 election is how Bill Clinton versus Barack Obama will turn out in the primary. Give no thought to Joe Biden. He’s hardly going to be president, but maybe you want him to be. You probably also don’t care whether or not Steve Harvey becomes racist again.For details on how the presidential primaries are shaping up, read this update from The New York Times. Here are some earlier lessons:
There’s no wonder that Bill Clinton’s 84% approval rating, back when he was president, was so encouraging. His team could either bury or congratulate their surrogate on it. If Clinton was playing possum by saying that if he wins in 2020 it will be a personal political triumph, then he must be playing possum because he didn’t concede after The People’s Choice. He was a reluctant insider and knew he would be remembered forever for his failures.
If Clinton was giving strategic advice to Barack Obama, he was wrong. And all the advice that Obama turned to Clinton was what ultimately did Obama in. Obama desperately wanted his luck on the Bobs–plus Eds, as they call these days–but Obama bowed to the sexualized politics of the moment and the gangster system.
I hate to complain about it being too late, but it just makes me sad that the 19th Amendment, which allows you to run for president just like anyone else, was changed the year after Obama began his inevitable chapter in it. It’s clear that in order to win the Democratic nomination, he had to go all in. He probably wanted to be in a Clinton world where he’d been entrusted with a presidential mandate to create a massive economic recovery, presided over by a reform-minded president, but he wasn’t going to get another one. He clearly wanted to be President Obama.
If you’re doing campaign finance reform, there was no stopping you. In fact, you pretty much could have — what could have been better? Now you have to keep your mouth shut.