- Professional Journalist
A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, "It's Clear. Trump Doesn't Want to be President Anymore" asks, "What if the president wants out?" The writer, Nancy Gibbs, is perhaps in the right church, but wrong pew. As I have been stating for the duration of the current administration, my view is that he will do the most Trumpian thing of all, announce at the eleventh hour that he will not stand for reelection. And Senator McConnell will play a huge part.
While I don't believe he has violated the emoluments clause any more that any other president, he will still be young and healthy enough to pursue the benefits of being a former chief executive. In other words, he can do what every other president before him has done, benefit financially from having served. I exclude Mr. Carter from this list, as he has clearly been a better former chief executive than he ever was in office. On the other hand, Messrs. Clinton and Obama have achieved wealth like nobody else.
It would be so like him to decide that he has done all he can do for the country, and it is up to others to take it from here. Like Mr. Obama, both much prefer to campaign rather than govern. It was my biggest beef with the former president. You won, now lead!
I did not vote for Mr. Trump. However, I have been a far bigger fan of the policies he has championed and put into effect than anything he says or tweets. His emphasis on placing conservative and centrist jurists on federal benches will reverberate for decades. And I'm okay with that. The pendulum of activist judges had swung too far to the left. In time a new course correction will no doubt occur.
I think it is safe to say President Trump never expected to win. He was like the dog who chases a car. What does he do when he catches it? I have been consistent stating his real goal was to put up a good fight, lose, blame the media and other "dark forces," and then establish the Trump Media Network, to right all the wrongs he sees in how things are "reported." But the Democrats put up the weakest presidential candidate of my lifetime, too many in their base along with independents stayed home, and voilà.
Of course, now he and his attorneys will need to do more work to make this happen. Instead of just waiting until the winter of 2019-20 to make the announcement, causing a frenzy amongst Republicans to choose a new nominee, he has to do what he claims he is the best at - negotiate.
Don't think the following scenario can't, or won't happen - Democrats, and many Republicans are so anxious to get rid of him that they will be happy to work out a deal. In a quiet back room in the bowels of DC, where all the deals get made, he will agree to not stand for reelection in exchange for a full and complete presidential pardon for himself, and all members of his family, along with a few members of his administration. It won't matter which party is in the White House, they will agree. Yes, but his ego won't allow for it. Yeah, it will. He knows this is the only way he gets to get on with his life in a manner pleasing to him. And that is what really matters most in Donald Trump's world.
A presidential pardon covers federal crimes. That is the easy part. The difficult task will be ensuring that governors of all states that may consider filing charges also need get on board, and do the same at the state level. Tough sledding to be sure, but it will happen. Why? Two words, one name - Gerald Ford. In the most selfless act by any US president, Mr. Ford recognized a polarized nation needed to have the impetus removed. He pardoned Nixon before any indictments were issued against him. The pardon was the primary reason Ford lost to Carter in 1976, but it was the correct thing to do. In 2001 Mr. Ford was honored for issuing the pardon by the John F. Kennedy Library with its Profile in Courage award.
Can you think of another way to end what is fast becoming a new Civil War? And yes, Leader McConnell will play the largest roll in securing this deal. You may not like him, but he is the best at what he does, ever. Ask yourself why the Majority Leader of the United States Senate is so quiet on the issues that surround President Trump currently.
So, ridicule me all you want, but you will be forced to acknowledge that I was prescient when it happens.