As usual, Peggy Noonan gets it exactly right in her column on November 14 in The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Biden knows what he’s doing, is in control of the transition process, can move that process forward without Presidential Daily Briefings, and must give his Republican Senatorial colleagues running room to back the current president’s nonsense about not having lost the election. In time everyone will come around. The states will certify the Electoral College vote of 306 for Mr. Biden or about 57% of the electors, equal to Trump’s victory in 2016. Mr. Trump will probably slink off to Mar-A-Lago for Christmas and not return to Washington, DC until he initiates his own novel news network as a platform for another White House run in 2024. My liberal friends are petrified that somehow Trump will find a way to nullify the 2020 result and retain power, but fear not. At noon on January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will become the 46th President of the United States and no one can stop it.
The real questions that should be on people’s minds are who Mr. Biden will pick for key Cabinet posts and whether or not they can get through a Senate that will likely be controlled by the GOP. I think this will force Mr. Biden away from the liberal wing of his party for his nominees and this is a good thing. The American people clearly want moderation, not extremism in their government.
But everyone, get a grip. There is no way that Mr. Trump will get his second term this year or next. Furthermore, I have grave doubts that he can resurrect his own presidential aspirations at this late stage of his game. He would be as old as Mr. Biden is now in 2024 and my guess is that the country will have moved on by then looking for younger leadership blood in both parties. I do believe that Mr. Trump will do everything in his power to stay relevant and in the public’s eye. Maybe a new reality TV show? There is no doubt that his followers adore him and would love for him to run again. But four years is a long time and there are many Republicans—Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz to name a few who have no intention of sitting on the sideline allowing Donald Trump to continue his hold on the GOP.
Keep an eye on who becomes the new Chair of the RNC. If Ronna McDaniel stays on, then Trump may have an avenue going forward. It will depend how he chooses to spend his time after the White House and whether or not the state of New York requests his presence in a court of law. If someone new emerges at the top of the RNC, my guess is that this becomes an open free-for-all and Trump will have to run in the primaries all over again in 2024. Would he be physically up for that? Would he be mentally up for that? Would we be mentally up for that? Can America take another campaign of clever nicknames with no real policy initiatives (we are all still waiting for Trump’s health care plan).
My guess is that the world is just about to pass Donald Trump by even as he kicks and screams to avoid the inevitable. He is now yesterday’s papers. The country is moving on. Maybe not today or even a month from now, but in a year there will be a covid vaccine whose distribution Trump should get full credit for hastening. And he will. And President Biden will give him that credit. Joe is bigger than The Donald. He can share the spotlight.
America will be over Trump very soon. Whether it is over Trumpism is another matter. That will be up to how Biden governs and how the GOP disciplines itself in the Senate. Another critical matter is the Congressional leadership on the Democratic side. If Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer stay in charge, expect large losses for the Dems in the 2022 midterms no matter what Biden does. It’s time for the Democrats to move on as well.
Both political parties are in a state of flux. Both made gains and suffered losses. The American people may well want it that way. Everyone may have to behave better when no one party is in charge of everything.
It is still my guess that it is the Biden-McConnell relationship that will determine whether or not the country progresses over the next two years. We are about to see if there are any grown-ups left in Washington.