By Rich Leonard,  Communications Committee


I have a queasy feeling that Donald J. Trump could win re-election in 2020, in spite of his heinous wrongdoings and incompetence. His strategy to overwhelm voters with lies, sow confusion and obfuscate reality may be working, despite polls to the contrary.

Bewilder, confuse and stupefy. It’s coming.

Trump already has a professional campaign team, a sophisticated social media campaign and a formidable fundraising machine. He raised $25 million during his Orlando rally last week to launch his 2020 campaign. His traditional fundraising will continue, but there are also reports of at least $300 million of “Dark Money” awaiting him.

To quote “Dark Money refers to political spending meant to influence the decision of a voter, where the donor is not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown. Depending upon the circumstances, Dark Money can refer to funds spent by a political nonprofit or a super PAC.”

Big donors, big checks, untraceable. It’s coming.

As the incumbent, Trump has a head start and his team is focused. In an interview aired Sunday on NBC, Trump said he sees no need to appeal to swing voters. His base will carry him. He will expand that base and get them to the polls. He has the all the data he needs to reach these voters.

While Democrats Candidates Battle, Our Work Can’t Wait

Irrespective of the primary fight, our challenges are daunting and will require commitment and boundless energy on the national, state and local levels. Winning Florida would deal a serious blow to Trump’s chances on election night. The Democrats of Indian River produced a record turnout in the 2018 midterms; we’ll have to do even better.

The first debates take place Wednesday and Thursday nights. The starting gates will fly open and an unwieldy field of 20 Democratic candidates will debate the issues and each other, 10 candidates per night.

Democratic Debates NBC News

Some candidates will stumble, some disappoint and some surprise, but perhaps three will finish in the money. The debates may shake up the pack, but the primary campaign will continue to divide our money, messaging and loyalties. We have eight long months until the Super Tuesday primaries and just less than 500 days until the general election.

Some see the sheer number of declared candidates as a sign of vibrancy in our party.  Let’s hope that the field will not inflict severe damage to our eventual leader.

Expect Media to Overplay Our Family Feuds

Early signs are not exactly hopeful.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the current frontrunner with an unassailable commitment to civil rights. At a fundraiser last week, however, he wandered right into a tripwire.

While touting his ability to bring civility back to Washington, he cited as evidence his work decades ago with two segregationists in the Senate. He made some odd reference to being called “son,” not “boy.”


Anyone reading the column follows the news and knows what happened next. Rivals and others called his remarks racially insensitive and demanded an apology. Rivals like Sen Cory Booker couldn’t get enough airtime.

My takeaway is that any nostalgic reference to the good old days of civility in Congress makes Biden appear to be out of touch and, I’ll say it, old. In addition, it’s unrealistic to think Democrats could make any headway with Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans who blindly follow Trump; or founding members of the Freedom Caucus in the House.

I am not endorsing Biden, but I am growing weary of the constant media coverage of the controversy. Whatever his gaffes, they pale in comparison to the 10,000 lies of Trump and, most recently, his reckless policies that could spark a war with Iran. Biden would have known enough not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal to begin with.

The bottom line is this: Democrats will have a rich agenda to bring to the voters next year. Our focus should be on ideas that will better the lives of Americans — and on defeating Donald J. Trump.