Earlier this week Elizabeth Warren stated the obvious: Donald Trump is more likely to be in prison by 2020 than he is to be running for reelection. Major media outlets roasted her for it, because they didn’t want her stepping on their current ratings-friendly “Trump vs Democrats in 2020” narrative. But now we’re seeing concrete evidence that even the Republicans don’t think Trump will be their nominee in 2020.
Comparatively moderate Republican Bill Weld, the popular former Governor of Massachusetts, has launched an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential campaign. He’s not planning to pull a Howard Schultz and try to cheat the primary system by jumping directly into the general election as a third party candidate. No, Weld is planning to run in the 2020 Republican primary. This is a big deal.
It’s easy to think of Bill Weld as a stunt candidate. Back in 2016, he recklessly ran as the running mate on the Libertarian ticket, before seemingly regretting it toward the end of the campaign. There is little reason to expect that Weld can garner enough popular support to win the 2020 Republican nomination. But the fact that he’s entering the Republican primary race this early is a big deal, because it suggests that he expects bigger Republican names to end up doing the same, and he wanted to get in first.
We’ve all heard the reports about Donald Trump taking over the Republican National Committee at every level, and trying to prevent the 2020 Republican primary election from even happening. There does appear to be very little of the RNC left outside of Trump’s shadow. But if Trump is ousted from office prior to 2020, that goes away, and all bets are off. Bill Weld just bet that Elizabeth Warren is right, and Trump will be long gone by then.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report