CNN gave Trump the opportunity to reintroduce himself to the American people as the Republican frontrunner for the presidency in 2024 with a prime time townhall in New Hampshire.  Some people might have thought that Trump would turn a page and force himself to at least pretend to be more tame, centrist, reasonable, and fact based now that he has lost his defamation case to E. Jean Carroll to the tune of 5 million dollars, is under criminal indictment for over 30 felonies in New York, and faces three other massive criminal prosecutions–one in Georgia and two coming from Jack Smith at the DOJ.

Think again.

The CNN townhall on Wednesday night turned into a Trump rally that reminded Americans just how damaging Trump was and still would be to our country. He dominated and overpowered the feisty but overmatched Kaitlin Collins who gamely tried to fact check him in real time. Which is impossible. You can’t have a normal conversation with Trump. It’s like trying to stop explosive diarrhea.

Trump insulted the moderator calling her “a nasty person” when she tried to intervene to correct the record with facts instead of fiction about whether he lost the 2020 election and his bogus claims of fraud.  He maligned E. Jean Carroll calling her a “wack job”  (opening himself up to yet another defamation lawsuit from her). He took credit for overturning of Roe v Wade calling that “a great victory”, and signaled that he would hand Ukraine over to Putin if he got back in the White House. The townhall was Trump in all his horror and glory unleashed and more malevolent than he dared to be in the past. The MAGA filled audience ate it up.

Here’s what else went down Wednesday night:

  1. Trump called January 6th a “beautiful day” and said he was “inclined” to pardon “a large portion” of the insurrectionists.
  2. He lied about his failure to take action on January 6th, rewriting history by claiming he had lined up military support. (He did not do that.)
  3. He called the black officer who shot Ashley Babbitt (and killed her) a “thug” –Babbitt has become a martyr to the white supremacists and Proud Boy types. The reason she was shot was because she was coming through a smashed window that she helped to break to gain access to the House of Representatives where only a few feet away unarmed representatives were scrambling to get away from the mob. Babbitt had no business breaking into the capitol. When you break the law in this way you should know you are exposing yourself to a potentially lethal response. Of course Trump was the reason the crowd was storming the capitol in the first place and thought they had the right to attack congress and kill Mike Pence. That’s why Trump may yet be found guilty of sedition along with the Proud Boys and the others who were part of the insurrection on January 6th.
  4. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump also denounced his former vice president, Mike Pence, for upholding the 2020 election results and waved off the suggestion that Mr. Pence had been at risk on Jan. 6, even though the Secret Service tried to evacuate him from the Capitol. “I don’t think he was in any danger,” Mr. Trump said. (NYT)

  5. Trump still believes he won the election of 2020 and has not budged from that lie. He still claims the 2020 election was “rigged”. (That has been debunked over and over again. It was a free and fair election. Courts and even many Trump appointed judges including the Supreme Court have upheld the legitimacy of that election and Biden’s win.)
  6. He yucked it up with the audience about defaulting on the debt (not a laughing matter because it would ruin our economy and standing in the world and catapult our nation into recession).
  7. He reasserted his right to take classified documents he had no right to take. “I was there and I took what I took and it gets declassified.” (No it doesn’t.) “I had every right to do it, I didn’t make a secret of it. You know boxes were stationed outside the White House, people were taking pictures of it” (People did not know the contents contained classified documents Trump was about to limp off with.) Special Counsel Jack Smith and his team of legal eagles must have been delighted to hear Trump’s confession. Makes their lives so much easier when it comes to proving up intent.
  8. When it comes to Ukraine Trump boasted that he would end the conflict overnight. There is only one way that could happen and that’s if Trump pulled out our support from Ukraine and gave the victory to Russia. Trump has been a Putin lover for a long time. Putin wooed Trump with a promise to build a Trump Tower Moscow as you might recall. It makes sense that he supports all things Putin not only because Trump is a would be dictator but because I believe Putin and Trump have a secret alliance we have not yet learned about. Remember when he was president he had all those meetings with Putin where the translator was forbidden to reveal the discussion they had? Ever wonder what they were talking about?


Shortly after the event ended, Mr. Biden issued a tweet. “Do you want four more years of that?” it read. It was a request for donations. It was also a reminder how much of the Biden 2024 campaign is likely to be about Mr. Trump. (NYT)

The Biden team was delighted with the Trump’s appearance on CNN. They are already salivating about the ads they can put together featuring Trump as the boogeyman who will wreck or worsen many things women in the suburbs care deeply about: the freedom to control what happens to their bodies when it comes to childbirth, sensible gun control legislation, the preservation of our democracy and reliance on facts not fiction or an alternate universe of propaganda as the basis for policy decisions. Suburban women are the last swing voters out there in the electoral landscape. Everything else has been gerrymandered to the limit or subjected to voter suppression.

We already know what the outcome will be for the presidential election in the red and blue states. The only states where there could be an undetermined outcome are the swing states of Wisconsin, PA, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia and a smattering of others that might tilt the outcome one way or the other. Suburban women are the key to winning in these states. The youth vote matters too and could make a huge difference. For that reason Republicans in states where the youth vote could matter are busy suppressing that vote by crafting laws making it impossible or extremely hard for these young people to have acceptable IDs or voting places that are nearby the campuses etc etc.

If Trump becomes the Republican candidate for 2024, (and that sure seems to be the way this is going to go given the delight of the MAGA loving audience in the room with him on Wednesday night) he will need suburban women voters to get behind him if he hopes to get the presidency back. He did nothing at all in his debut townhall on CNN to win himself even one more votes from that all important group of swing voters.


No. Trump could win. We cannot see far enough ahead to know future pivotal concerns that will impact voters. We do not know, for example, whether the economy will weigh down the Democrats and become a greater factor in the minds of key voters. It looks like McCarthy’s House is ready to roll the dice with a catastrophic default on the debt we have already incurred hoping they can pin the blame on Biden when the economy tanks. That is a huge gamble. They risk getting blamed themselves. But this House is full of aggressive showmen who want confrontation and would prefer to own the libs and become celebrities rather than govern.

One thing is certain, this election season is going to get uglier and more vicious. Trump is unleashed and vengeful. He no longer has guard rail advisors that he listens to. Even his daughter and son-in-law Ivanka and Jarod are not signing up for team Trump anymore. Trump’s goal is to become America’s first dictator. He will mete out punishment to anyone who was mean to him. He will deconstruct the federal government and throw out democracy. Dog whistles and his rage will intensify as the other indictments drop. Americans will see him at his worst. The MAGAs will love it. But the Independents, youth and suburban women will feel disgusted and nauseated. The last best hope for our country is that these voters will rise up and vote like their lives depend on it. Fear is a great motivator.

If moderate voters who are appalled by Trump rise up again, ideally in greater numbers than in 2020, this election would be Trump’s last stand. IF Trump fails, the MAGA wing of the GOP would have less energy behind it and there could be more room in that party for moderate Republicans to gain ground in the GOP.  2024 could be America’s chance to reclaim our country and keep our democracy. Think about this. IF the Dems could get the White House, the Senate with a larger majority, and the House, we could FINALLY get national legislation on guns, reproductive rights, border laws and a whole lot more.