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Like it or not, Democrats, Trump is on a roll

David Ignatius on

Polls suggest a continuing public distaste for Trump's erratic, egoistic personal style, with 65% finding his behavior "unpresidential" in the Post-ABC News poll. The daily Trump show leaves the country exhausted and frazzled, and you can hypothesize a Democratic challenger who would be calming, trustworthy and unifying.

But looking at the Democratic field, it's not clear yet who could actually deflate Trump's balloon. The Democrats appear increasingly divided; they're skewing further left as candidates compete for the party's base; young progressives seem eager to pick fights with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders. The public sadly seems almost as weary of Democrats' investigations as of Trump's scandals.

A Democrat who could, in theory, put a stopper in Trump's bottle is former Vice President Joe Biden. He has experience, talented advisers, support from labor and some other traditional Democratic constituencies, and money. What he doesn't have is pizzazz.

Biden gave a solid foreign-policy speech Thursday that was a reminder of what "normal" sounds like. His call for American leadership in the world was a reminder of how much damage Trump has done in abdicating that role.

Democrats should wake up: Like it or not, Trump is on something of a roll. Twenty candidates bickering onstage looks worryingly like a recipe for four more years.

 

Hillary Clinton thought Trump would beat himself, but she was wrong. The Democrat who can win in 2020 will be the one who presents a reassuring contrast to this loud but chronically insecure president. The polls say Trump is beatable, but it will take a strong, sensible campaign that can pull voters in the middle, where this race will be won or lost.

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David Ignatius can be reached via Twitter: @IgnatiusPost.

(c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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