Feehery: It's Trump's race to lose

Feehery: It's Trump's race to lose
© Greg Nash

Two things we know to be true this election cycle.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE is not going to change who he is.

Democrats have to nominate somebody to run against him.

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First, on Trump.

After slightly more than three years in office, this is as presidential as he is going to get.

To many Washingtonians, his deportment is a bug. But to those who will vote for him for reelection, his deportment is a feature.

His tweeting, his coarse language, his destruction of Washington norms, don’t upset his supporters one bit.

He may be a jerk, but it takes a jerk to change the jerks in Washington.

And let’s face it. It works for him.

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The president campaigned in 2016 just as he governs today. He has been notoriously consistent in his issue set: lower taxes, fewer regulations, stronger borders, better trade deals.

It is hard enough to beat an incumbent president who campaigns on one thing and delivers something completely else. Incumbents are just hard to beat, historically speaking.

Beating an incumbent who has a strong economy and has stuck to his campaign promises? Seems like a tall order to me.

Which brings me to the Democrats.

I don’t feel cocky at this stage of the game. We have a lot of time left, and this president is not exactly known for playing it safe.

But not one of the candidates currently running in the Democratic field is better than Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Harris make first public appearance as running mates Trump campaign spox rips GOP congressman over rejection of QAnon conspiracy Biden hits back after Trump's attacks on Harris MORE.

Yes, Clinton had baggage, but she also had a tremendous résumé, was a good debater, and had a presence and name recognition that any of these other candidates would die for.

We all love Joe BidenJoe BidenRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE, unless of course, you live in an early primary state. He might pull a 2008 version of John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump rips Bill Maher as 'exhausted, gaunt and weak' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence Sarah Palin offers Harris advice: 'Don't get muzzled' MORE and come back after everybody counts him out, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (I-Vt.) has the perfect message if he was running for president against Herbert Hoover. But his Depression-era language looks slightly ridiculous if you have a job and you pay taxes, which makes up a fairly high percentage of the voting public.

I thought Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenNew poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (D-Mass.) would do better among Democrats, but her campaign is sputtering, mostly because she is so unlikable.

The surprise is Mayor Pete. Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence California Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup Obamas, Clintons to headline Biden's nominating convention MORE is a fresh face, and he has the countenance of an eager teaching assistant, just wanting to plunge into office hours and teach his undergrads about English literature. And I guess his very thin résumé will not be used against him to the extent it probably should. Hey, it worked for former President Obama.

But I just don’t really know what Pete really stands for or what his campaign is all about. With Trump, everybody knew what they were getting. With the mayor, it’s all a mystery.

If money is the lifeblood of any campaign, then Mike Bloomberg is in the best shape of any of the Democratic candidates.

Billionaires tend to poll very well among other billionaires, but among the less fortunate (which is everybody else), they tend to be less popular.

So, we will see how well Mike (didn’t he used to call himself Michael?) does when he actually appears on a ballot.

The Bloomberg strategy neatly contrasts with Trump’s campaigns of 2016 and today.

Trump dominates earned media. Bloomberg dominates paid media.

Trump has big, barn-burning rallies, must-see events where he says just about anything that crosses his internal transom. Mike couldn’t sell out an arena if he paid everybody in the audience a hundred bucks.

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In 2016, Trump won the first two primaries and won one of the first two caucuses, which gave him tremendous momentum going into Super Tuesday. Bloomberg’s campaign won’t really get started until Super Tuesday, a unique strategy, to say the least.

At the end of the day, will it be Mike to take on the Donald?

One billionaire versus a guy who says he is a billionaire?

Time will tell, but I am putting my money on the incumbent, no matter who the Democrats nominate.

That seems like the safe money to me.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: Weak mayors destroy America's great cities Feehery: The fight worth having with teachers' unions Feehery: How Trump can better handle COVID-19 and win reelection MORE (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).