The Rushmore Report: Predicting the Presidential Election – 2028

With just 5,389 days to go until the 2028 presidential election, it’s time to finalize our projections for the White House – 12 years out. With Democratic President Castro having served two terms, the race will be up for grabs. The primary issues for debate will include Medicare, race relations, education, immigration, inner city renovation, and taxes. I will tell the story as it will appear the day after the election. And the 2028 president will be . . .

Democratic Nomination

With an open seat for the first time in eight years a number of prominent Democrats jumped into the race. Early leaders were Vice President Kirsten Gillibrand, age 62, who sought to become America’s first woman president. She faced the stiff opposition of liberal darling Cory Booker, age 59. Booker is a four-term senator from New Jersey. Lesser known candidates included Kasim Reed, former mayor of Atlanta, and Gavin Newsom of California. Rumored to make one final run for the White House, Hillary Clinton, age 82, bowed out, but did not rule out a run in 2032. Bernie Sanders, age 137, failing to secure the VP nomination, unexpectedly announced his retirement from politics.

Democratic Winner – Vice President Kirsten Gillibrand

Republican Nomination

Running for the Republican nomination, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was the early favorite. At age 65, he emerged as the conscience of the libertarian/conservative wing of the party. Other candidates included Adam Kinzinger, age 50. As the sitting Republican Governor of Illinois, the military veteran put Illinois in play, while promising to return America to the military greatness that eroded under the Castro Administration. Kinzinger enjoyed the endorsement of Senator John McCain, age 104, of Arizona. Other candidates included 2024 nominee Marco Rubio of Florida, Governor Brandon Creighton of Texas, Florida Rep. Tim Tebow, and Rep. Byron Trump, son of the former president, of New York. At age 22, Trump would have been the youngest president in U.S. history.

Republican Winner – Governor Adam Kinzinger

Presidential Winner

On November 7, 2028, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois narrowly defeated Democratic nominee Kirsten Gillibrand, in an election reminiscent of the Trump win over Clinton in 2016, as Gillibrand won the popular vote, 51-48 percent. Carrying Illinois, Kinzinger narrowly won the Electoral College, 271-269. President-elect Kinzinger will be inaugurated the 47th President of the United States on January 20, 2029.

The Rushmore Report: What You Didn’t Know About Donald Trump

We all know he is the President of the United States. We know he is a brash billionaire. We know him as the star of The Apprentice and as the Tweeter-in-Chief. We know about his multiple marriages, bombastic ways, and unprecedented rise to the Oval Office. But there is more to The Donald than you know. Here are a few things about the 45th president you probably didn’t know.

1. Trump has never smoked, drank alcohol, or done drugs.

His older brother, Fred, was an active alcoholic for many years, and he warned Trump to avoid drinking. Fred ultimately died from his addiction. This left an impression on Donald that would never go away.

2. His hairstyle does not come easily.

When Trump awakes in the morning, he looks different. His remarkable hairline is achieved after blow-drying his hair forward and them combing it backward.

3. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2007, Trump became the 2,327th star to receive the honor, because of his role as producer of NBC’s The Apprentice.

4. Trump is the only president with his own board game.

The monopoly-like game launched in 1989 and was ultimately discontinued after poor sales and bad reviews. The game was appropriately named Trump: The Game.

5. He once had his own brand of Vodka.

Though he doesn’t drink, he launched his Vodka in 2006, describing it as “a superb product and beautifully packaged.” The public didn’t agree. It was discontinued in 2011.

6. He doesn’t like to shake hands.

A germaphobe, when forced to shake hands, he has an interesting technique of vigorously pulling the other person close into his body.

7. Trump once owned a pro football team.

A player in high school, his love for football never left him. In 1983, he purchased the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, which he tried to merge with the NFL. The USFL folded after two seasons.

8. He has a high opinion of himself.

Okay, you already knew this one. But here’s the evidence. In 2004, he was quoted in The Daily News, saying, “All of the women on The Apprentice flirt with me – consciously or subconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

The Rushmore Report: Will President Trump Be Impeached?

In the wake of new revelations of memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, Democrats such as Sen. Angus King (ME), Rep. Al Green (TX), and Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) have called for the impeachment of President Trump. David Gergen (CNN) said, “We’re already in impeachment territory.” British oddsmakers give Trump only a 46 percent chance of finishing his first term. But can impeachment really happen? Let’s talk about it.

Only two presidents have ever been impeached. And no, Richard Nixon was not one of them. I’m talking about Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. And neither was removed from office. That’s because impeachment and removal from office are a high bar to get over.

The Constitution is very specific about the basis for impeachment. Article II Section 4 states, “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment from, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” And the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not made clear.

But can President Trump actually be impeached and removed from office?

Yes.

Is it likely?

No.

There are five reasons a Trump impeachment is very unlikely.

1. President Trump has not even been accused of a crime.

Despite their best efforts, neither Democrats nor the media have produced a single scintilla of evidence of a crime – either in the Russian collusion or the Comey memo “scandal.” And where there is no evidence, there is no crime. And where there is no crime, there is no impeachment.

2. Impeaching Trump would be dumb politically.

If the Democrats were successful in actually removing Trump from office, they’d have a President Pence. And that would be their worst nightmare. Mike Pence is more conservative than Trump, and far less prone to the kind of unforced errors that make a second Trump term so precarious. Democrats will be in a much better position to win elections in 2018, 2020, and after by running against the volatile Trump than the steady Pence.

3. As with Bill Clinton, impeaching Trump would make him more powerful, not less.

When Clinton was impeached, he was at his lowest point in popularity. But being impeached was viewed as an overreach, resulting in a wide swing in public opinion. Clinton was empowered and suddenly had the country behind him as never before.

4. The math makes impeachment nearly impossible for Democrats.

Democrats would need the support of 25 House Republicans to approve articles of impeachment and then 15 Senate Republicans to remove Trump from office. There’s a reason no president has ever been removed from office. It is a really high bar to get over, and with Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress – nearly impossible.

5. The two big issues appear bogus.

Issue #1 – Trump’s meeting with Russian President Putin. The accusation is that Trump shared classified information with Putin. Here’s the problem – As President, Mr. Trump is completely within his rights to declassify anything at anytime. So even if he did what he is accused of doing, it is perfectly legal.

Issue #2 – the Comey memos. The implication is that Mr. Comey jotted down some comments Trump made to him at a White House dinner on February 14. Trump supposedly suggested Comey go easy on Michael Flynn. Rep. Elijah Cummings, as well as other Democrats, called this a “textbook case of obstruction of justice.” Here’s the problem – Anything short of a direct order would not rise to the level of obstruction, and therefore a crime. And if Trump actually had given Mr. Comey such a clear directive, by not telling the Justice Department – immediately – Comey effectively downplayed the severity of the comments. No one would have recognized obstruction as well as the Director of the FBI, and he did nothing to report the Trump comments as inappropriate.

So yes, it is possible that Mr. Trump could be impeached. It’s also possible my Houston Texans will win the next Super Bowl and the Houston Astros will win the World Series and the Houston Rockets will win next year’s NBA championship. It’s possible – but highly unlikely.

The Rushmore Report: The Great Hypocrisy – Dems Who Wanted Comey Fired

Months before President Donald Trump fired James Comey, Democrats had called for the dismissal of the FBI Director themselves. Now they are calling the firing they supported “Nixonian,” in the face of the Russia investigation. It’s as though they think the current FBI investigation will suddenly stop with Comey’s firing. But Trump didn’t fire the FBI – just the Director. Still, Democrats are raising the mantle of hypocrisy to an unprecedented level.

Trump and the White House insisted on Wednesday that Comey’s firing was not politically motivated and, instead, was an effort to restore public trust and confidence in the FBI. Yet the timing and the motive of Comey’s dismissal puzzled many Democrats and Republicans alike.

Democrats are expressing concern that the effect of the Comey firing will be to shut down the investigation in which he had no personal involvement. To a man, FBI leaders have asserted this will have zero effect on their work. Still, Democrats decry the timing of the firing, as if they would have supported Mr. Trump had he taken this action the day after his inauguration, one month into his Administration, or at any other time.

Newt Gingrich was right when he observed, “If President Trump said the American flag was red, white, and blue, the Democrats would say it is fuchsia.”

What makes the Democratic hysteria hysterical is that so many of them had personally called for the firing of Mr. Comey. Never did any of them say the timing mattered. In fact, they have been beating the “Fire Comey” drumbeat for months. Only when Trump did what they supported did they no longer support their own idea.

Here’s a brief timeline.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (October 30, 2016) – He accused the FBI Director of breaking the Hatch Act, a federal law, by publicly disclosing new information about the Hillary Clinton investigation 11 days ahead of a presidential election. He called on the Director’s removal with a personal letter in which he wrote, “Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”

Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee (October 31, 2016) – “I have no confidence in him.” He then called on Comey to resign his FBI post.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (November 2, 2016) – “I do not have confidence in him any longer,” he told Bloomberg News.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader (November 2, 2016) – “He’s not right for the job,” she told CNN.

Rep. Maxine Waters (January 13, 2017) – “The FBI Director has no credibility.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (January 24, 2017) – “James Comey needs to fade away into oblivion.”

Add the opinion of the New York Daily News Editorial Board – “Comey must resign.” And Newsweek columnist Kurt Eichenwald went even further. “James Comey should not simply be fired as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He must be barred forever from any form of public service.”

In the week since the Comey firing, not one of the above eight critics have supported the very move they personally called for. What it is – hypocrisy of the highest order. What it is not – surprising.

About the Author

Luis Gomez is a writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Rushmore Report: Does Late Night TV Really Treat Trump Differently than Other Presidents?

This past week, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert have said things about President Trump that would have gotten any late night “comedian” fired had they said the same things about President Obama. Of that there is no dispute. But overall, are things really that much different than in recent years? Does late night TV really offer unbalanced attacks against Mr. Trump, compared to Obama, for example? The data is in and the answer is clear.

Yes.

Over Trump’s first 100 days in office, late night jokes targeted Trump 1,060 times, according to a study by George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs. Those 1,060 punchlines tower over the numbers hit during the entire first year of recent presidents. For example, Mr. Obama was targeted 936 times in his first year. Trump is on pace for 3,557 attacks during his first year, or 3.8 times more than Obama.

Perhaps the reason is that Trump invites such criticisms/jokes. Not so fast. What could have possibly provided more fodder for late-night comedians than the Bill Clinton affair with Monica Lewinsky? Yet, Clinton’s 1,717 jokes in 1998 were less than half of what Trump is facing in 2017.

So far this year, Trump-targeted jabs have outpaced jokes told about all Democrats, 1,060-95. That’s a ratio of 11/1.

But many will contend Mr. Trump says things that invite such cynicism and ridicule. Again, not so fast. Trump’s family members have been targeted 97 times, more than all Democrats combined. Let me say that again. Late night television is going after the President’s wife, daughter, and ten-year-old son at a higher frequency than their combined attacks on the 241 elected Democrats who populate the Senate and House of Representatives.

The George Mason University report concludes that Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel have ridiculed the President’s immediate family more than they have attacked Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (“You must pass the Democratic bill before you can read it”) and Chuck Schumer (“We will oppose this president at every turn”).

Can you imagine the outcry if the media had attacked Chelsea Clinton or Barack Obama’s wife or children this way?

I remember a time when the President’s family was off-limits. I remember a time when late-night comedians would have been fired for making “jokes” about incest within the President’s family and bleeped-out “jokes” about his manhood. I remember a time when such despicable, immoral speech would earn universal condemnation among an unbiased mainstream media. I even remember a time when we had an unbiased mainstream media.

I really feel old.

The Rushmore Report: What Trump Can Do that Will Only Make the Media/Democrats Hate Him More

Everyone wants to be liked. That is a universal plague that has ruined many a good person. Presidents are no different. And clearly President Trump falls into that category. He wants to be liked. Is he bothered by his low favorability ratings? You bet he is. Does it bother him that he is loathed by Democrats and mainstream media no matter what he does? Of course it does. But it is partly his own fault. In his young presidency, he has already done some things that clearly have won him the ire of the opposition. Here are a few examples.

1. Lower unemployment

Under the Trump presidency, unemployment has dropped to 4.7 percent, lower than at any time under the eight years of the Obama Administration. Unemployment hasn’t been this low since – gasp! – George W. Bush was President.

2. Record stock market

Just as employment is lower than at any time during Obama’s eight years, the stock market is higher than at any point in Obama’s eight years. That means more retirement savings for everybody.

3. Lower illegal immigration

Since Trump became President, illegal border crossings are down 70 percent. That means less crime and more jobs for Americans.

4. Standing up to Syria and North Korea

Syria has crossed Obama’s “red line” more times than the chicken crossed the road. But President Trump bombed Syria when they crossed him. And he is staring down North Korea as well, actually awakening China from its slumber. It’s called peace through strength.

5. Showing up to Day of Prayer rather than the Correspondents’ Dinner

This is a big no-no. In a span of one week, President Trump put God ahead of the media. He could have attended the venue that takes God’s name in vain, but chose the venue that prays in God’s name instead.

6. Fixing Obamacare

He could have shouted, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” And he could have let the current program, clearly imploding, implode. But instead, Trump is supporting efforts to provide lower premiums and reduce healthcare costs.

7. Military pay raise

For the first time in six years, the military personnel are getting a raise. They protect us every day – perhaps they deserve a small pay increase every six years.

Predictably, these seven steps have brought the wrath (and vulgarity) of both media and Democrats alike. And why not? Low unemployment. More people working. Record savings. Stronger defense. Reduced illegal immigration. Day of Prayer. No wonder the left is in a dither.

But I will offer hope to the President. It’s not too late to win over your opposition, Mr. Trump. Here are a few random suggestions, sure to help.

1. Admit you are never right about anything.

2. Let Chuck Schumer make your next Supreme Court nomination for you.

3. Increase taxes.

4. Accumulate as much national debt as Mr. Obama did.

5. Make empty threats against countries who seek to annihilate Israel.

6. Replace Mike Pence with Nancy Pelosi.

I thought of one other thing you might try to win the approval of your most strident critics. You could walk on water. But if you do, know this. The opposition will say you don’t know how to swim.

 

The Rushmore Report: Seven Things You Didn’t Know about Ronald Reagan

Like none other, Ronald Reagan scaled the heights of both acting and politics. The conservative icon is still the man by whom all Republican candidates are measured. He served as President of the Screen Actors Guild during the golden age of cinema, and as the 40th President of the United States. But there are seven things you probably didn’t know about The Gipper.

1. Love for jelly beans

President Reagan loved jelly beans. During his tenure in the White House, the Jelly Belly company sent tons of jelly beans to the White House. They did this because their jelly beans were on display in all the meeting rooms where cameras were present. Talk about smart advertising!

2. Incredible generosity

While Governor of California and President of the United States, he received countless letters from constituents. And he read as many letters as he could. Often, he received odd requests for personal financial assistance. Nancy Reagan said he would sit at his desk for hours, writing out checks for $5,000 to people he would never meet.

3. He wanted to play baseball

Reagan loved baseball. He even dedicated May of 1983 as National Amateur Baseball Month, in an effort to get more kids out to play the sport. His favorite team was the Chicago Cubs, though he never got to see them win a World Series.

4. Reagan was a squirrel’s best friend

The president loved feeding the squirrels on the White House lawn. They became so used to him that they’d come right up to him for their daily treats. But when Reagan’s second term neared its end, he knew his successor, George Bush, was no fan of squirrels. So he left a farewell note in his White House desk, for Bush to pass along to the squirrels. It read: “Beware of Bush’s dog.”

5. Only divorcee

Throughout history, we have had single presidents and married presidents, but only one divorced president – until Donald Trump. Known as a consummate family man, Reagan had been married to Jane Wyman from 1940-1948, long before meeting Nancy.

6. Once a Democrat

Born in 1911, Reagan lived through the Great Depression, and was impressed with President Franklin Roosevelt’s compassion for the poor. Like most of his era, he pledged his allegiance to the Democratic Party as a young man, But by the early 1960s he registered as a Republican.

7. Biggest presidential landslide ever

In his bid for re-election in 1984, Reagan won the biggest Electoral College landslide ever. While winning 49 of 50 states, the final tally in the Electoral College was 525 for Reagan and 13 for Walter Mondale.

The Rushmore Report: Why Won’t Democrats Embrace the Most Popular Politician in America?

If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America – and it’s not even close. Yet, bizarrely, the Democratic Party – out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant – still refuses to embrace him and his message. It’s increasingly clear they do so at their own peril. A new Fox News poll shows Sanders has a +28 favorability rating overall, and is even more popular among independents.

One would think Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don’t have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country.

Politico ran a story featuring Democratic officials fretting over the fact that Sanders supporters may upend their effort to retake governorships in southern states by insisting those candidates adopt Sanders’ populist policies – seemingly oblivious to the fact that Sanders plays well in some of those states too.

The establishment wing of the party ran another opponent against Sanders’ choice to run the Democratic National Committee. They have steadfastly refused to take giant corporations head on. Further, they have failed to support Sanders’ positions on health care, which are much more popular than Obamacare.

Looking toward 2018, Democrats seem intent on following the same policies and strategies that have failed in the past three election cycles. Sanders said it himself. When asked by New York Magazine whether Democrats can adjust to political reality, he said, “There are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”

In the long term, change may be coming for Democrats whether they like it or not. Sanders loyalists are quietly attempting to take over many local Democratic party positions around the country. While Sanders’ choice for party head, Keith Ellison, lost the race for party leadership, it was incredibly close – closer than Sanders came to beating Hillary Clinton. And Sanders’ supporters are already organizing primary challenges to incumbent Democrats who aren’t sufficiently opposing Trump.

One thing’s for sure: Democrats who refuse to change will do so at their own peril.

About the Author

Trevor Timm is a writer for The Guardian.

The Rushmore Report – What Trump Is Doing Today that the Media Won’t Cover

President Reagan did it. So did Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Bush. President Obama did not do it. Today, President Trump is doing it again. But you won’t hear about it in the media much – if at all. It has happened every year in May for 66 years. Most presidents – though not all – make a pretty big deal out of it.

The media is covering President Trump’s budget deal, his comments about the government needing a “good shutdown,” his plans for the border wall, and pretty much every tweet he puts out at five in the morning. But they aren’t covering this – even though it is important to a huge part of the country.

What is it that President Trump is doing today?

He is participating in the National Day of Prayer.

Despite President Obama’s reticence to embrace a National Day of Prayer, such an event is consistent with our American heritage. George Washington said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the annual observance of a National Day of Prayer, ordering that it must be declared by each subsequent president at a day of his choosing. President Reagan, 36 years later, designated the first Thursday of May as National Day of Prayer.

Today, over 35,000 prayer gatherings will be conducted by about 40,000 volunteers across the United States. According to TimeAndDate.com, “several million people are expected to participate in this call to prayer.”

Why do we need a National Day of Prayer? Historian David Barton offers four reasons. First, God tells us to pray (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Second, God answers prayer (Matthew 21:22). Third, God honors prayer and turns his attention to those who pray. Fourth, prayer changes those who pray.

I love what the aging Benjamin Franklin said at the Constitutional Convention. Standing to his feet, he pondered whether the assembly still desired to depend on God as they did in the beginning of the revolutionary movement. Franklin stated, “And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without this aid?”

Ronald Reagan was right when he said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

Sunday, Beth and I attended the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Pastor Robert Jeffress mentioned that he would be with the President on Thursday for the National Day of Prayer. I suggest that is one time when we should all be with our President – the National Day of Prayer.

So find a prayer gathering near you. By hosting the Washington, D.C. National Day of Prayer, President Trump is doing what we would hope all presidents would do – whether the media shows up or not.

The Rushmore Report: Donald Trump – Who I’ll Likely Face in 2020

Donald Trump became the first president to address the National Rifle Association in over 30 years. That alone made news. But it was a statement about the 2020 presidential election that caught his audience off guard. Mr. Trump delivered the kind of raw meat NRA members expected. His stance on guns remains undeniable. But then the president named the Democrat he believes he is most likely to face in his re-election bid in four years.

Trump said he thinks his 2020 presidential opponent will be liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts. In his speech, he referred to the senator by a nickname he gave her last year – a name many say is racially insensitive.

“It may be Pocahontas,” Trump said before the Atlanta crowd, noting that Ms. Warren is not a big fan of the NRA.

Warren has been discussed as a potential 2020 candidate before and was considered to be one of the most effective foils for Mr. Trump in the 2016 campaign. Before Hillary Clinton even won the Democratic nomination last year, Ms. Warren had stood up to make a name for herself as a tough opponent to Mr. Trump.

She has not warmed to the man who has become her president since. The former Harvard professor who has positioned herself largely as an anti-Wall Street and pro-banking regulations senator frequently characterizes Mr. Trump as a billionaire false populist who is taking advantage of working class voters.

When asked, Warren has generally ducked questions of a potential 2020 run, which has fueled some speculation that she may have plans to announce a bid after her re-election to the Senate. She also recently published a new book. That book, titled This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, has led some to wonder if she intends on using it as a launching pad for a White House bid.

Mr. Trump, who is well known for coming up with nicknames for his political foes on the campaign trail, started calling Warren “Pocahontas” after he learned that she has some Native American heritage. While her heritage has been disputed since then, Ms. Warren contends that she has never furthered her career by using that heritage to her advantage in any way.

About the Author

Clark Mindock writes for The Independent.