Monday, August 07, 2017

NYT: "Republican Shadow Campaign To Replace Trump"

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In a widely read article this weekend titled, "Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubt Grows," the New York Times tells the world Pence and others are preparing to replace Trump.

The Times says, "President Trump’s first term is ostensibly just warming up, but luminaries in his own party have begun what amounts to a shadow campaign for 2020 — as if the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue weren't involved...."

The NYT continues:
The would-be candidates are cultivating some of the party’s most prominent donors, courting conservative interest groups and carefully enhancing their profiles. Mr. Trump has given no indication that he will decline to seek a second term.
But the sheer disarray surrounding this presidency — the intensifying investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the plain uncertainty about what Mr. Trump will do in the next week, let alone in the next election — have prompted Republican officeholders to take political steps unheard-of so soon into a new administration.

The Times claims to have interviewed more than 75 Republicans at every level of the Party, elected officials, donors, and strategists who are doubtful about President Trump's future.

They say Ohio Governor John Kasich is defiant and has indicated that he may run for president in 2020 even if Trump is still in office.

They quote Bill Kristol, editor at large of the Weekly Standard and a fierce opponent of Trump, confirming that Kasich has had informal conversations about creating a "Committee Not To Renominate the President."

Republican John McCain, also a strong critic of the president, told the Times, "They see weakness in this president. Look, it's not a nice business we're in."

The Times also notes that Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse have already been to Iowa this year, implying that they too, are somehow running for president in 2020.

But the focus of the story is on Vice President Mike Pence.

The NYT says Pence is "methodically establishing his own identity" and "bestowing personal touches on people who could pay dividends in the future.

They note he has turned his residence at the Naval Observatory into a hub for relationship building, even inviting "conservative activists" like "Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council" to meet with him.

The Times says, "Mr. Pence has made no overt efforts to separate himself from the beleaguered president," but he is preparing.

It's customary for vice presidents to keep a very active political calendar, so why does it mean something different for Pence than it did for Dick Cheny?

Because they want it to mean something different.

What if Vice President Pence is actually loyal to Trump, agrees with his agenda and isn't working to undermine his agenda or create the "shadow campaign" the New York Times dreams about?

When Pence saw the article yesterday, he responded forcefully with his own statement.

Calling it "disgraceful and offensive," he denounced the New York Times report saying, "Today's article in the New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team. The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration."

Pence said, "The American people know that I could not be more honored to be working side by side with a president who is making America great again. Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus our efforts to advance the president's agenda and see him reelected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd."

Last Thursday, before this latest episode yesterday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was speaking on an online call with the American Renewal Project, a conservative organization encouraging pastors to get more involved in the political realm and bring their congregations along with them.

He had a dire warning about what will happen in our country if the tide turns in Washington and the progressives regain control.

Newt said, "Remember: There are a lot of people on the other side, including in the elite news media, who deeply, deeply want President Trump to fail, who deeply want our values to be wiped out by making them, frankly, illegal, and who are deeply committed to changing America in ways that would turn it into a country, you and I would have no real knowledge of and no understanding of."

Gingrich said, "He's clearly committed to breaking up political correctness and...He's clearly committed to advocating the kind of future that we want for our children and our grandchildren."

David Lane, president of the American Renewal Project, closed out the call, asking pastors to consistently pray for President Trump---he said, "Ask the Lord that He would use him to bless this nation, to resurrect America."

Lane concluded with his own prayer, asking God's mercy, "For what we have allowed in a nation founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith"..."something that only the living God can do: a spiritual resurrection of America."

Then he prayed, "And it's within your grasp. As you said to Lazarus three days in the grave dead, 'Lazarus come forth,' Lord, we ask that you speak revival in America."

Be Prayerful. Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning.