- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 16, 2020

President Trump’s trademark campaign rallies have evolved into a kind of fine art, and a very effective art at that. They are frequent; Mr. Trump has back-to-back rallies coming up in Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Las Vegas and Charlotte, North Carolina — and they will likely continue beyond campaign season.

“We’ll keep the rallies going if we win,” Mr. Trump told a recent economic summit in North Carolina; the crowd responded by chanting “four more years.”

And why shouldn’t the events continue? These rallies are authentic, effective, emotional, dynamic — and have become refreshingly joyous.

“A jubilant crowd was hooting and hollering holy hell. The most tangible feeling was of brotherhood,” writes David Marcus, a columnist for The Federalist who attend a recent Trump rally in New Hampshire.

“Trump supporters catch a lot of hate. Whether being mocked as deplorable or dismissed as uneducated rubes, there is always something or other wrong with them, according to Democrats and the news media. They know it. And in each other’s company a weird fellowship forms, of half college football game, half family reunion,” he says, recalling the big moment when the president made his entrance.

“Upon entering, the cheering was so loud Trump could barely begin his speech. They could have drowned out a Megadeth concert. It sounded more like a national convention than a New Hampshire campaign rally,” Mr. Marcus says.

He noted that Mr. Trump himself actually took it easy on such foes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Mitt Romney, the sole Republican who voted in favor of an impeachment article.

The president still has a close read on his audience, and the art of the rally as well.

“The rhetoric was restrained, and perhaps Trump realizes that this time he can’t run against Washington but must run on his record. As far as this crowd was concerned, that record is more than enough,” Mr. Marcus observes.


Inquiring minds now wonder if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will step up to the White House plate for a third try, this time as running mate of Democratic presidential hopeful Michael R. Bloomberg.

“Bloomberg needs immediate help to win the nomination, with March a make-or-break month. Clinton, as the world knows, is desperate to get revenge on Donald Trump and will almost certainly seize another chance at the White House, even if it means being relegated to standby equipment. While Bernie Sanders and his committed clan will be loud exceptions, enough Democrats, I believe, will support a Bloomberg-Clinton ticket as the best chance to defeat Trump,” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.

“If all that comes to pass, the general election would be a combustible clash that will make the 2016 election look like a walk in the park. It won’t exactly be a Trump-Clinton rematch, but close enough that the faint of heart should start searching for safe and quiet refuge,” Mr. Goodwin observes, noting that there’s a big role for former President Barack Obama to play.

“Obama, too, would love nothing more than to help end Trump’s presidency. If the Clinton proposal comes to fruition and gives Bloomberg an instant boost, expect Obama to move quickly to help secure the nomination,” the columnist says.


Main Street and small business still stand by President Trump. Six out of 10 small business owners approve of the job Mr. Trump is doing, while 52% say that their business would be better off if Mr. Trump was reelected, according to a new Gallup poll of small business owners in all 50 states.

“Most small-business owners rate the financial condition of their business positively — 56% say it is ‘excellent’ and 38% ‘good’ — and 69% report that their business benefited from the 2017 tax reform law. More than 7 in 10 say they reinvested over one-quarter of the savings that resulted from the tax law in their business,” writes analyst Megan Brenan.

“There are more than 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and this constituency is an important one for any presidential candidate to win over. Most small-business owners indicate they have benefited from Trump’s 2017 tax law and report that their businesses are in good financial condition today, which would seem to be a positive sign for Trump,” she says.

And what about the ideological make-up of American business folk? Here are the simple numbers: 40% are Republican and 36% are conservative, 33% are Democrats and 27% are liberal, 26% are independents and 37% are moderates. Oh, and 97% overall say they plan to vote in the presidential election.


So are certain Democrats really going to try to impeach President Trump again? The news media would be ecstatic.

“I know they are obsessed with continuing investigations of this president. It’s not out of the realm of possibility,” Rep. Ben Cline tells the Daily Signal, a publication of The Heritage Foundation.

The Virginia Republican was a witness to the impeachment hearings as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

“But because the Democrats essentially took their best shot and fell short, and now we are seeing exactly the bounce this president has gotten in polls and the momentum he has gained from being acquitted, I think they may have learned trying and failing doesn’t get them where they want to be,” says Mr. Cline.

Nothing would stand in the way of House Democrats impeaching Mr. Trump again, but they likely would face political consequences, notes Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at Heritage.

“There is nothing constitutionally that would prevent the House from undertaking a second impeachment investigation, but I believe it would be an abuse of power and misuse of the impeachment power,” Mr. Von Spakovsky tells publication.


32% of small business owners say taxes are the greatest challenge to their business operation.

21% say government regulators are the greatest challenge.

20% say health care costs are the greatest challenge.

15% cite U.S. trade tariffs.

7% cite climate change, 5% immigration issues.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,234 small business owners in all 50 states conducted Jan. 15-24 and released Friday

• Have a productive Presidents Day, and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway

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