Ready for the National Referendum?

This must be the first presidential campaign in which both candidates have the same strategy.

For one it’s a matter of deliberation and for the other it’s a symptom of narcissism, but they end up in the same place: Each wants the race to be a referendum on Donald Trump.

Trump’s advisers surely would prefer to make it a referendum on Joe Biden. The president has a job approval of 40.3 percent, an age problem that gets worse every day, and an albatross in the form of persistent inflation that he can’t shed. All Republicans need to do to win is clam up, lie low, and let political gravity do what political gravity does.

But that would require personal discipline from their nominee. And, well, you know.

The president can’t win an election in which the core question is Are you happy with Joe Biden’s first term?” But he might be able to win an election in which the core question is Do you really want to see what a coup-plotting lunatic does for an encore?”

Nick Cattogio

May 29, 2024

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