2020 marks my 30th year of living and working in Washington DC. I have worked for two presidents and on five presidential campaigns including the current Trump 2020 campaign as a member of the National Finance Committee. I run a successful Government Relations firm and am an owner of two Latino newspapers. During all these years I have seen a lot of presidents come and go along with the many political appointees that work with the president’s team in the many federal government agencies. I wrote an article shortly after the 2016 presidential election to explain what happens when one government transitions to another . Politicians and political appointees are obviously upset after an election loss. I should know. I lived through it. My first experience was when I worked for President George HW Bush. At one point Bush was polling at 90%. But anything can turn an election into an implosion. Checking your watch during a debate. Not knowing the price of milk in the supermarket, and oh yeah, an independent candidate like Ross Perot. President Clinton won with 36% of the vote. I had already identified my next government position! I was left with nothing and I wasn’t prepared. That, along with personal family problems, made this one of the darkest moments in my life. However, my point here is that there is life after political loss. Washington and our democratic system are resilient. Losing an election is a perfect opportunity to step back and analyze what could have been done better. It’s never too soon to begin to focus on the next election cycle. Four and even eight years is not a lot of time and zooms by. Every presidential transition that I have experienced has only been new for a minute and, before you know it, it’s time for the next election. America didn’t fall apart during any of those presidential administrations.
Then came the 2016 election and Donald Trump. For many people he was a hopeful figure for others a scary one. He was different and people, especially in Washington DC, hate different. The Democrats and anti- Trumpers made too much of his candidacy and, as a result, gave him way too much attention. In short time this attention began to take on a life of its own. There were predictions that if Trump were elected the economy would collapse, World War III would begin, and we would lose our place amongst the international community. But, the truth about the Trump election is that it was normal. It was just another routine election. Like every other president, He had to win the Party primary, get nominated, win the Electoral College, put together a transition team, hire staff, give an inauguration speech, walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, go to the inauguration balls, and then go to work. It was very much like the other six elections that I had seen here in Washington, Clinton in 1992 and 1996, George W in 2000 and 2004, Obama in 2008 and 2012. However, all the wild negative speculation from the Trump opposition made the election to appear to be more than what it was, which was just another presidential election. Because of the shock level of the Trump victory many Democrats were caught off guard and decided to move to and remain in attack mode which goes on until today. They never took a moment to step back and mourn. They never took the time to analyze what they needed to improve. They didn’t begin to focus on the next election cycle. Now we are months from the 2020 election, and they are not really focused and prepared, tied up still on attack and vengeance.
No one can be president forever. Despite what some might think President Trump is not going to alter the constitution to allow himself an extra term. The truth about the Trump election of 2016 is that it was a normal and routine process which we have followed in this country for over 200 years. The opposition exaggerated and made it out to be more than it really was. They created a monster. It would be good for Democrats to now focus on how to win in November and to take the focus off Trump. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be what’s going to happen as I already am hearing from the Democrats the same catastrophic predications of chaos and destruction if President Trump is reelected in 2020! The Trump opposition would fare much better if they focused on their goals to help the country without the Trump scare tactics and hype. Then it will be clear again that the presidential election process does not change. It is an opportunity to win or lose and perhaps lead the nation for a few years. Even if you lose, the next one is only four years away.