As Trump's Stature Rises, Democrats Fall Into Decay | Opinion
Over the past few weeks, the stature gap between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has grown dramatically.
While the president became the first foreign leader to meet with the new emperor of Japan, Pelosi reportedly said she would like to see Trump "in prison."
The president also had a widely watched dinner with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. He seemed entirely at home as a world leader dining with the British royals. The following day, the president had an interview with Piers Morgan, which was the most controlled and nuanced interview I have seen him give. He was truly presidential.
The meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May and other government leaders also went well.
The anti-Trump crowds in London were tiny compared with the massive crowds that used to oppose President Ronald Reagan (of course, Russian President Putin is not spending the kind of money the Soviet Union used to spend on the so-called peace movement).
The president's recitation in Portsmouth, England, of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's prayer on D-Day in 1944 was stunning and widely replayed in the news.
Then the president went to Normandy and gave one of the most powerful and moving speeches of his career. When even liberals and anti-Trumpers were comparing his speech to Reagan's historic 1984 oration, you knew Trump had achieved an extraordinary impact.
Shortly after the speech, the president met with French President Emmanuel Macron, who told the news media he and Trump were good friends.
A brief stop in Ireland to meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (and play a little golf) wrapped up the most successful trip so far in the Trump presidency.
While the president was overseas, he was also orchestrating the first really tough negotiation with Mexico over immigration. Largely because Congress has consistently failed to take control of the border and deal with illegal immigration, the president decided to focus on a strategy of getting Mexico to help control the illegal immigration that pours across its territory.
Trump's threat to impose harsh tariffs brought Mexico to make historic changes to its approach to controlling illegal immigration. Some 6,000 Mexican troops are being sent to the country's southern border in a first step toward getting control of illegal immigration.
While there was widespread criticism and opposition to Trump's threats when he first announced them, within a few days they achieved more progress with Mexico than the United States had made in years.
While Trump was proving he was a world leader in Japan, Britain, France, Ireland and Mexico, Pelosi's House Democrats were ineffectually talking about subpoenas and investigations—and asserting that there is no border problem.
The stature gap just kept growing.
Pelosi's shrinking stature is more than matched by the decay of the Democratic presidential field.
The only Democratic candidate with real national stature is Vice President Joe Biden. Biden's 36 years in the Senate and eight years as vice president serving with President Barack Obama give him both name identity and acceptability. Unfortunately for Biden, three things are undermining his candidacy.
First, his own record since he entered the Senate in 1972 makes him vulnerable on issue after issue. From apologizing to Anita Hill to explaining votes and statements that offend modern radicals, Biden's record has kept him on defense.
Second, the dynamic, militant elements of the Democratic Party are all on the left. A recent uprising forced Biden to repudiate a lifetime commitment to support the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayers' money from paying for abortions. After a few days of pressure, Biden caved to the left. An entire career of citing his Catholicism was washed away by the radical left in less than a week.
On the environment and other issues, Biden is going to be driven to the left. The heart of his candidacy—the stable, seasoned centrist—is being crushed by the energy and vitriol of the left.
Third, Biden has always been a weak, self-destructive candidate, and he is still a weak, self-destructive candidate. From defending the Chinese, to sniffing people's hair, to plagiarizing others, there is a "Bidenness" that plagued his first two campaigns for president and will probably destroy this one.
If Biden does fade—and recent Iowa polls certainly make this possible—the Democrats will have no national candidate.
Bernie Sanders' past as a pro-Soviet, pro-Castro, genuinely hard-left socialist is beginning to limit his appeal.
Behind Sanders is a wave of left-wing radicals who will be more alien to most Americans than Senator George McGovern was in 1972 (he carried only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia and lost to Nixon in the larges popular vote landslide in modern history (60.7 percent to 37.5 percent).
As Trump grows in stature as a genuine world leader and the Democrats continue to shrink, the election of 2020 may be vastly different than the so-called experts currently think.
Newt Gingrich was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He is now the host of the Newt's World podcast and the author of Trump's America: The Truth About Our Nation's Great Comeback. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own.