From the Left



While Donald Trump tries for a 2016 rerun, voters look for a fresh script

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

With less than 100 days to go until Election Day, President Donald Trump is campaigning like he did the first time, as a challenger running against the sitting president, who this time happens to be himself.

In speeches, ads and tweets, he attacks crime and urban unrest that presumably would explode in “Joe Biden’s America” — but uses video clips from President Trump’s America.

He boasts of having completed “more than 200 miles of powerful border wall” with Mexico, when all but 3 miles of the almost 216 miles built since Trump took office only replaced old fencing.

And four years after promising grandly to “repeal Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with “something better,” Republicans in Congress remain as divided as ever about any possible replacement — especially when Trump usually seems to have forgotten about it.

The main reasons for his woes appear increasingly to be two crises that, unlike most of his crises, Trump did not generate himself. One is the coronavirus pandemic. The other is the national racial “reckoning” ignited by the choking death of George Floyd beneath a Minneapolis police officer’s knee.

After a mid-March surge in the polls as the American public rallied in our national fight against the virus, unity melted away amid a flurry of mixed messages from the president that showed the administration’s response to be anything but firm.


Result: We, the most powerful nation in the world, have one of the world’s worst infection rates.

Meanwhile, the president’s approval ratings have been sinking since March in a manner that reminds me of a famous line from Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” when one character asks another named Mike how he went bankrupt:

“Two ways,” says Mike. “Gradually, then suddenly.”

Since late March, Trump’s approval rating has dropped from 46% to 40% in a FiveThirtyEight poll. Worse, approval of his handling of the virus fell during the same period from 45% to 34%, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, while Biden’s approval on the issue grew from 43% to 54%


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Ed Wexler Dave Granlund Adam Zyglis Bill Day Bob Englehart Nate Beeler