Chicago mayor and former Obama administration chief of staff Rahm Emanuel spoke to his fellow Democrats about the potential risk of loss in the 2020 presidential election against President Donald Trump in an opinion piece published by The Atlantic.
The Obama administration official first talked about the sunny outlook he believed that Democrats could have, thanks to mistakes that voters could find troubling on the part of the current president.
However, according to Emanuel, there is still a very real threat to their party that Republicans could win the next election:
“But Democrats haven’t won the 2020 election yet—and we’ve got a long way to go,” Emanuel said.
“But if the economy continues to hum and he racks up a couple of wins on foreign policy, the public’s perception of his presidency could shift. Democrats can’t bank on voters being more dismayed by him than they are enamored of us.”
Emanuel encouraged his fellow Democrats to not dismiss the possibility that voters will take Trump very seriously, and that Democrats should do the same. The Chicago mayor said he believes that “we should take him literally when he tells us exactly how he’s going to run his reelection campaign.”
“Trump’s going to spend the next two years using the bully pulpit to convince voters that Democrats are big believers in ‘government coercion, domination, and control,’” Emanuel guessed.
“Earth to Democrats: Republicans are telling you something when they gleefully schedule votes on proposals like the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, and a 70 percent marginal tax rate,” Emanuel said.
“When they’re more eager to vote on the Democratic agenda than we are, we should take a step back and ask ourselves whether we’re inadvertently letting the political battle play out on their turf rather than our own. If Trump’s only hope for winning a second term turns on his ability to paint us as socialists, we shouldn’t play to type.”
Emanuel began to wrap up his advice to Democrats with an often heard mantra among the left:
“To borrow Richard Ben Cramer’s famous phrase, Democrats ultimately need to nominate the candidate who best demonstrates that he or she has ‘what it takes’ to win.”