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What if President Trump loses in 2020, but doesn't leave?

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

In a historic change of mind, President Donald Trump has found a reason to support reparations -- for President Donald Trump.

The president retweeted this bright and, oh, yes, unconstitutional idea on Sunday after Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, proposed that Trump deserved an additional two years in office to make up for the time allegedly lost in the Russia investigation.

I have a counterproposal. I think the president should leave office two years early -- as in, right now -- to make up for the "executive time" that he reportedly has spent golfing, visiting his personal properties and watching "Fox & Friends" instead of keeping up with his daily intelligence briefings.

Just kidding. Falwell was just kidding, too, I am told. Trump? I'm not so sure.

"Despite the tremendous success that I have had as President," Trump tweeted Sunday, "including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY and most successful first two years of any President in history, they have stolen two years of my (our) presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back....

"The Witch Hunt is over but we will never forget. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

 

Could this be a sign that the president doesn't expect to win four more years in office by the normal constitutional route?

As Trump's and Falwell's tweets went out, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was warning in a weekend New York Times interview that, even if the president fails to be re-elected in 2020, he won't want to leave -- especially if he loses by a narrow margin.

The party needs to "inoculate against that," she said, by not only winning but winning "big" enough to convince Trump to step aside voluntarily, as every other sitting president has.

Pelosi didn't sound like she was kidding at all. Similar fears that Trump would "poison the public mind" and "challenge each of the races," motivated her in last year's midterms, she said. In the end, Democrats picked up a net gain of 40 seats, their biggest gain in the House since the historic post-Watergate wave election of 1974.

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(c) 2019 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

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