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14Feb 2019

GOP must get over the wall to reap rewards in 2020 – Boston Herald

It’s a good thing that Republicans are getting out front on this newest compromise proposal on funding for the border wall. They definitely know they need to stanch the bleeding of supporters that could lead to a catastrophe for them in the 2020 elections.

Polls show that most Americans blame the Republicans and Trump for the government shutdown over a border wall that most Americans do not want. People have lost patience with this new showdown, but there’s a chance for a reprieve. That’s why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smartly proclaimed that the compromise package currently awaiting the president’s signature contains many benefits for the president. Yet Trump feigns that he is not happy with the compromise. The reality is he has to be smart enough to know that he needs to get out from under this debacle that has tanked his popularity. He also knows better than to shutdown the government again. And the emergency action he threatens if he ends up without the $5B for his wall is nothing more than a pipe dream that even his Republican allies know he can’t achieve.

Clearly the ball is squarely in the president’s court. I wager he will sign the compromise to get on with the business of building America.

Once again, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has played the president like a proverbial fiddle. She wisely let him give his State of the Union speech that helped move him forward. He’s got to be smart enough to know he needs to turn this page. And he also needs to build his legacy beyond his relationship with two despots, Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin, and to get past his propensity to cause and operate in chaos. It is not a good look going into the 2020 elections.

And speaking of the 2020 elections, it looks like Trump will face a field dominated by powerful women.

I agree that Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a lightening rod. And some say she carries some baggage, sparring with the president longer than other women in the race. But I like a fighter and she has the courage to give as good as she gets. But her Native American heritage fiasco will no doubt follow her just as Hillary’s emails followed her throughout the race. So Warren starts out with an uphill battle. I personally wish she hadn’t rolled out the DNA test that proved she had a hint of Native American ancestry a few generations back. That’s the kind of thing you want to use to punctuate, not as an “I told you so” gotcha moment.

Watch for the assorted attempted take-downs of  former AG and now Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who rolled out her announcement before a spectacular turnout of 20,000 supporters. She has long been the target of conservatives who have been organizing against her. Her mixed race heritage will definitely be used against her, just as former President Obama’s was used against him. Divide and conquer tactics are still alive and well.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) is a wild card. Though not exactly a first tier candidate like Warren and Harris, she stands out for her true grit announcement of her candidacy in a snow storm and as a more centrist Democrat. But still, watch out for the saga of the “flying notebooks” that she purportedly hurls at her staff.

A woman’s temperament is always a big focus in a campaign — not so much for men.

I do expect that the president’s payoffs to women by his soon-to-be-jailed attorney Michael Cohen will be resurrected and will definitely follow him on the  trail. His treatment of women will also be front and center. In 2016, it didn’t seem to matter. Women still gave him the edge to victory. I am hoping that with so many women in the race, a major benefit will be making sure the rules of engagement are fairer than they have been in the past.

Joyce Ferriabough Bolling is a media and political strategist and communications specialist.

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