News and Commentary

Obama-Era Politicos Prepare ‘Pre-Excuses’ Just In Case Trump Wins Re-Election

Two high-profile members of the Obama administration are trying to get out ahead of the game, making a series of excuses for a potential Democratic loss that’s still more than a year away.

Steve Rattner, the former president’s Treasury Secretary, and Jon Favreau, an Obama administration speechwriter who has since become a prominent political commentator, both claimed Monday that a Democratic loss may be inevitable, but that Democrats, who are running on a platform much further to the left than should sit well with a majority of American voters, definitely don’t have themselves to blame.

Rattner, writing in the New York Times, warns leftists that Americans are pretty happy with the state of the economy and that they largely credit President Donald Trump with recent improvements in the job market, including rising wages. Rattner claims Trump is operating with a “tailwind” and that Democrats may have to root against the economy — not just Trump himself — to get the upper hand in 2020.

“The economy invariably ranks among the top issues on the minds of voters in presidential elections. At the moment, it appears to offer President Trump a meaningful tailwind,” Rattner writes. “But how big is that tailwind? Fortunately, economists have worked hard to develop models for predicting election outcomes, and according to one of the best of these, it should be quite large.”

Democrats only win when voters start to factor in Trump’s personality, Rattner says; that’s where Trump starts to come in behind Democratic hopefuls like former Vice President Joe Biden. But Democrats have made this mistake before: information about Trump’s past, his marriages, his business acumen, his overall attitude, even his habit of speaking his mind, have little effect on voters, who’ve already factored Trump’s personality into their vote.

Many of the complaints against Trump are “baked in,” so to speak. Meanwhile, Democrats, are running on issues Americans consider secondary to the economy and staking out policy positions that are far to the left of those of the quintessential “rust belt” voters that made Trump president.

But those are all quantifiable reasons for a Democratic loss — in fact, they’re things the Democrats could address now in order to prevent failure later. Jon Favreau’s commentary is a little more dire and, like Hillary Clinton’s claims of Russian interference, conspiratorial.

According to Favreau, Democrats can’t win, because the media is just so darned biased.

“Trump’s surest path to victory in 2020,” Favreau writes,” will be the same as it was in 2016: depress Democratic turnout. He’ll hit the nominee from the left, knowing that reporters will be more interested in chasing his attacks than calling out his lies and hypocrisy.”

Even Democrats on social media were quick to point out how ridiculous Favreau’s excuse is. While they’re not really willing to admit that the media regularly chases stories about Trump’s “lies” and whatnot, Democratic losses are usually the fault of Democrats. Vladimir Putin’s rep may have tried to get in touch with the Trump campaign to no avail, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, but he didn’t infiltrate Clinton’s campaign and cause her to skip Wisconsin.