- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Rahm Emanuel has some advice for Democrats as he steps down as the mayor of Chicago: Shun socialism or risk losing to President Trump in 2020.

The former chief of staff to President Barack Obama said it seems as though his Democratic peers are reading from a “ready-made script” and playing into the White House’s re-election strategy.

His commentary comes via an op-ed in The Atlantic in which he warns the party to put aside internal bickering and try to “appeal to the widest swath of both moderate and progressive voters.”

Trump’s going to spend the next two years using the bully pulpit to convince voters that Democrats are big believers in ‘government coercion, domination, and control,’ Mr. Emanuel wrote Sunday. “He’s making a bet that if he labels Democrats ‘socialists’ frequently enough, he’ll be able to drive a wedge that scares swing voters out of the Democratic fold.”

Mr. Emanuel, who is leaving office in the Windy City after serving two terms, said Democrats who scoff at Mr. Trump will do so at their “own peril.”

“The last thing we should do is serve him slow pitches over the plate that allow him to define us on his terms,” Mr. Emanuel said. “Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Democrats have been doing since he went before Congress in early February. It’s almost as if we’ve been duped into reading from his ready-made script.”

The seasoned political operative said his party should spend the next 20 months vetting a candidate with “authenticity, credibility, and viability.”

“The president’s low approval ratings suggest that, if he wins a second term, Democrats will have no one to blame but ourselves,” Mr. Emanuel said. “We’re blessed to have a slate of primary candidates capable of making Trump the first one-term president in more than a quarter century.”

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