Donald Trump’s enemies smell blood in the water.
Once, the President’s uncanny sense for weakness in others helped him destroy the deepest Republican primary field in history. Now, the suddenly quickening 2020 presidential race and a Capitol Hill power play by Democrats suggest that Trump is beginning to take on the look of prey for opponents ready to pounce on his sub-40% approval rating.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris focused directly on Trump’s character on the second day of her campaign, during a CNN town hall event in Iowa on Monday.
“It’s very important that anyone who presents themselves as a leader and wants to be a leader will speak like a leader,” Harris said, not mentioning the President by name but leaving no doubt about her target.
“That means speaking with integrity. It means speaking truth. It means speaking in a way that expresses and indicates some level of interest and concern to people other than oneself. And so, right there we will see a great contrast.”
Washington is a place where the merest hint of vulnerability never goes unnoticed. That, paired with the clearest signs yet that the Russia investigation is coming to a close, including reverberations from the indictment of Trump’s political guru Roger Stone, is deepening impressions of a White House under siege.
Trump showed himself in 2016 to be a formidable campaigner and found a path to the White House that many observers thought was impossible. But as the 2020 race accelerates he is in a tenuous position that means the Democratic nomination is an especially attractive prize.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll just published showed that 56% of registered voters say they will “definitely” not vote for Trump next year. While those numbers can change, they are clearly a problem for the President, even though he won last time with only 46% of the popular vote.