Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer talks to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast show with Nicky Campbell to discuss Trump’s acquittal by the Senate, the State of the Union, and predictions for who will win the Democratic nomination.
Appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast show, Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer predicted a further polarization of U.S. politics and an increasingly bitter reelection campaign amidst the acquittal of President Donald J. Trump by the Republican controlled U.S. Senate. Regardless, he is the third U.S. President in history that the House, which is currently under Democrat control, has impeached. Despite the impeachment scandal that rocked D.C. over these past couple of weeks, U.S. President Donald J. Trump still has a 49% popularity rating and a powerful base that supports him no matter what. Pavlovic said “from tomorrow [February 7th, 2020] on we are going to watch one very bitter, one nasty, vicious reelection campaign”.
In addition, Pavlovic believes that Trump will frame the attempted removal via impeachment not as an attack on Trump himself, but an attack on Trump’s followers, Trump “was just in the way”, to quote Ms. Pavlovic. He could frame the impeachment as an attack on the entire U.S. population, civil liberties, Constitution, and way of life — an attack on Trump’s White House, to Trump, is an attack on the people as well. Trump will also say, according to Pavlovic, that “the Democrats are treating his base as a bunch of deplorables”, emphasized by the tearing up of Trump’s State of the Union speech by House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
To many, she did not only tear up Trump’s speech, but all the people who Trump featured in his speech and their stories. Pelosi defended her actions when she said that she “tore up a manifesto of mistruths” and went on to say that “I don’t need any lessons from anyone, especially the President of the United States, about dignity”. Legal experts surveyed found that the shredding of the speech does not violate any record keeping laws. Trump did not shake her extended hand at the beginning of his State of the Union address. Multiple Republican leaders, specifically Matt Gaetz, called for the House to condemn Pelosi, which the House voted to table. It is months now since the last time the leaders spoke with each other. Trump’s view of events, or his framing of them, and his entire political project which relies on stoking animosity, according to Pavlovic, is “only going to further polarize voter opinion in the United States”.
Turning to the subject of the Democrats, post Iowa disaster, interviewer Nicky Campbell pressed Pavlovic on who she believes will win the Democratic nomination. Pavlovic replied with “if you ask DNC, they want Joe Biden to be their nominee. However, this is not how people feel and I’m afraid if DNC keeps pushing for Joe Biden who came in fourth place in Iowa, they’re going to lose for sure”. However, Ms. Pavlovic believes that the mood of the country, based on popular vote, means that “it should be Bernie Sanders by . . . the movement that he has behind him”, but it is still uncertain due to the opposition from the DNC facing Sanders’ campaign, according to Ms. Pavlovic. To her, it is now down to Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg to duke it out, find some arrangement, and stoke the fire of the Democratic Party behind one candidate who can beat Donald Trump. “I don’t see one candidate that can be against [beat] Trump right now”, Pavlovic told BBC Radio 5 Live.
According to Pavlovic, fighting between the Democratic candidates — emphasized by Warren’s more recent attack on Sanders, claiming he told her he did not believe a woman could be President — there is more friction between the Democrats voter base, which will hinder any chance any candidate has of beating Trump. Meanwhile, Trump presses forward, not facing any opposition due to the infighting amongst Democrats, which for Ms. Pavlovic is a bad sign for the Democrats fight against Trump. Trump delivered an open press victory speech this morning to highlight his ‘win’ — acquittal — in the Senate. With the infighting and number of potential candidates still vying for the nomination, Trump still has no clear opponent heading into the 2020 Presidential Election.