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Trump on track to turn Kennedy’s retirement into another conservative win

New York Yankee Hall of Famer Lefty Gomez had a saying he liked to repeat: “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

Of course, it’s better to be both lucky and good.

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President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE is lucky. And so far, he’s been pretty damn good with that luck.

 

Has there ever been a more purely fortunate candidate and then president than President Trump?

First, he ran in the primaries by using sad-sack Jeb Bush as his punching bag, driving him to the turf repeatedly amidst $2 billion in free media coverage. Then, he ran in the general election against the most unlikeable, corrupt candidate in modern American history, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSamantha Power's Herculean task: Turning a screw with a rubber screwdriver Beau Biden Foundation to deny lobbyist donations, make major donors public Whoopi Goldberg wears 'my vice president' shirt day after inauguration MORE; her husband’s character flaws matched his own so perfectly that Trump’s character flaws were rendered politically meaningless. Finally, during that election cycle, Hillary was being investigated by the FBI, and that investigation was re-opened just in time for Election Day.

Trump took advantage of all of these breaks in style: he attacked, he pummeled, he aggressively charged forward in spite of obstacles that likely would have finished any other candidate.

The lucky streak didn’t stop in November 2016.

Trump was handed a growing economy by a Republican Congress and President Obama. He then took advantage of that growth by passing tax cuts along with a Republican Congress, and paring back regulations. Meanwhile, ISIS collapsed on his watch, and Obama’s awful Iranian policy generated a viable counter-Iranian alliance in the region.

Then Kim Jong Un accidentally blew up his nuclear testing site. That event likely led to the North Koreans reaching out to the Trump administration for talks. Trump took full advantage politically, rolling out all the pomp and circumstance he could muster.

Finally, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he would leave the Supreme Court. The decision was an absolute shocker, given Kennedy’s jurisprudential legacy regarding LGBT issues and abortion. But Kennedy has indeed stepped down, and Trump will get to make a second Supreme Court pick — the first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, being the top item in the list of wins for the Trump administration. The Kennedy replacement will be exponentially larger, since Trump has the opportunity to replace a swing vote with a solid constitutionalist.

And Kennedy is retiring right before the midterms, giving Trump a serious turnout boost for the 2018 elections. A huge number of wavering Republicans pulled the lever for Trump in 2016 in the hope that he would preserve balance on the Supreme Court. How many more will turn out to help turn the Senate deeper red in order to shift the balance of power on the court entirely?

The possibility of a constitutionally-driven court has been a conservative dream for decades. Top on the agenda: repealing Roe v. Wade (1973), the left’s favorite case and a constitutional abomination that created phantom clauses of the Constitution in order to justify a chimerical “right to abortion.” And the new judicial agenda would include re-asserting religious freedom in the face of tyrannical antidiscrimination law; broadening the Second Amendment’s applicability; dispatching racially discriminatory admissions policies; and undercutting administrative law overreach. All of this would be game-changing for conservatives across the nation.

So, Trump got lucky. Again.

Now he has to be good. Again.

All Trump has to do is pick a solid constitutional conservative. Yes, the list from which he’s choosing is replete with good possibilities ranging from Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Republicans wrestle over removing Trump MORE (R-Utah) to Judge Don Willett to Judge Amy Barrett. But there are some picks who have short records, or vague records. Now is not the time for stealth candidates; stealth candidates brought conservatives Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, and David Souter. Now is the time for a clearly constitutional justice.

If Trump is good, he’ll continue to be lucky, right on up through election day 2020.

Ben Shapiro (@BenShapiro), a lawyer and conservative commentator, is founder and editor in chief of The Daily Wire. The author of seven books, he hosts a daily political podcast, “The Ben Shapiro Show.”