Predictions: Trump goes, unexpected candidate emerges in 2019

As a new chapter in American history unfolds with the start of another year, here are some predictions for the political scene in 2019:

  1. Donald J. Trump’s presidency will not survive 2019;

  2. The downward trajectory of every aspect of his tenure indicates we are headed for a spectacular political crash-and-burn — and fairly soon;

  3. His increasingly erratic and angry behavior, his self-imposed isolation, his inability and refusal to listen to smart advisers that he hired, all are leading him to a precipice;
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  4. Meanwhile, the global and U.S. economies are softening in great part because of the unnecessary and ill-conceived trade war he launched against Canada and our European allies; if he wanted to conduct a legitimate trade war against China, wouldn’t it have made more sense to have trading allies such as Canada and Europe with us, instead of making them our adversaries?

  5. Consumer confidence is declining and the American economy will slow noticeably in 2019. A recession is right around the corner, heading into 2020;

  6. The volatility in the stock markets threatens to weaken Trump’s support among the GOP donor class, which will translate to GOP senators pulling away from Trump in short order;

  7. Legally, Trump is in peril from not only from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation but also from separate investigations being conducted by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York into Trump’s life and business dealings;

  8. Fox News hosts are beginning to question the Trump administration’s actions on air, showing cracks — albeit, small cracks at the moment — in Fox’s heretofore 100 percent fealty to Trump;

  9. These cracks will expand into chasms as news and entertainment mogul Rupert Murdoch calculates Trump’s prognosis and decides he doesn’t want his Fox News network to go down the drain with Trump;

  10. Fox recently lost several days in a row to MSNBC in the ratings race — and Fox host Sean Hannity has lost 20 percent of his nightly audience since the midterm elections;

  11. Without Fox approving Trump’s agenda, his support will decline from the 40s into the upper 20s;

  12. The Mueller investigation will come to an end in 2019;

  13. Mueller will shock everyone with what he has discovered, and the result will be much worse for Trump than anyone has anticipated;

  14. Yes, Trump indeed knew about the now-infamous June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting — and he lied to the American people repeatedly about it;

  15. Trump lied on Air Force One when he concocted a phony statement about “adoptions,”  because he knew the truth about the meeting;

  16. The Mueller investigation will unveil evidence of Trump putting himself out to the highest bidder in return for campaign help and financing: Russians, Saudis, Emiratis, Qataris — there will be evidence that millions of foreign dollars illegally flowed into the Trump campaign coffers in 2016;

  17. In other words, Trump basically said, “I’m for sale”;
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  18. We may learn the source of the $66 million of his own money that Trump donated to his campaign in 2016. Was it a foreign entity who gave him the money as, in effect, an illegal pass-through?

  19. Now that he has removed Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisIs coronavirus the final Trump crisis? Pentagon seeks to reconsider parts of B cloud contract given to Microsoft over Amazon Democrats press FEC pick to recuse himself from Trump matters MORE, Trump can do what he tried in 2018: He will remove our troops from South Korea;

  20. This is exactly what North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and China and Russia want us to do;

  21. Trump tried this last spring but Mattis and former chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE talked him out of it; now, neither man remains to stop him;

  22. This will provoke a crisis the likes of which we have never seen;

  23. The GOP Senate will go nuts when this happens, as will the Pentagon and Japan;

  24. This action may begin the breaking away of the 20 GOP senators it will take to remove Trump if the House impeaches, dooming the Trump presidency;

  25. In June, the Democratic Party presidential race will begin to take shape when the first TV debates begin with perhaps two dozen candidates; no one yet can predict who will emerge as the 2020 nominee, but history is a guide here:

  26. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE, Jimmy Carter, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonClintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents Why Klobuchar should be Biden's vice presidential pick MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaCivil rights leader Joseph Lowery dies at 98 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - House to pass relief bill; Trump moves to get US back to work Obama thanks Fauci, Stephen Curry during Instagram Live session MORE all won the Democratic nomination in great part as a result of the energy, shoe leather, devotion and passion of an army of young people in the primaries. That phenomenon almost propelled Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on MORE (I-Vt.) to an upset victory over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Hillary Clinton on US leading in coronavirus cases: Trump 'did promise "America First"' Democratic fears rise again as coronavirus pushes Biden to sidelines MORE in 2016. Who can harness the youth movement in 2020?

  27. As of today, it looks like Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) has that energy behind him and incredible online fundraising abilities; if he runs, he will begin as a formidable candidate in a field of well-known, older candidates (Sanders, Joe BidenJoe BidenWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Coronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) and Michael Bloomberg). That army of young people will be tempted to leave Sanders for O'Rourke — or their loyalties will split between the two, and that may open the door for someone unexpected to step forth;

  28. With Trump forced to exit the scene in 2019, the post-Trump GOP will devolve into all-out reshuffling. The Trump hangover will bedevil the party, just as the immediate post-Nixon era did to the GOP in 1974. The 2020 Republican nomination fight will be even more brutal than the Democratic one;

  29. With Trump disgraced, both political parties will search for a message and a messenger;

  30. An unexpected candidate will seize the political center in 2020.

John LeBoutillier, a former Republican congressman from New York, co-hosts “Revolution — The Podcast,” available on Soundcloud and iTunes.