Bill Kristol Visits for Politics & Eggs
By Alexis Soucy | May 23, 2018
After a few jokes to warm up the crowd of professionals and sponsors, Kristol gave his take on the current political climate. "In the last 24 years, we've had three eight-year presidencies. The last time that happened was right after the founding, beginning with Jefferson. The fact is, we've had a pretty stable period in U.S. politics," he said.
Kristol sees these trends coming to an end in the near future. “I feel like we're entering a turbulent era of American politics, like the period from '68 to '80, where the character of the two parties is up for grabs."
Looking back at the 2016 election, Kristol noted that voters wanted something new, someone different: “But the major parties said, 'You want change? Great--We've got a Bush and a Clinton!’” which was far off from what people were asking for. Being a big candidate without former presidential ties worked in Trump’s favor in 2016. But according to Kristol, “A re-election campaign is a lot different from an initial campaign.”
While referencing a new Morning Consult poll, Kristol said the numbers show voters consistently approve of the job Trump is doing to some extent. However, “If the polls were to ask voters if they want four more years of Trump, the answers would be a lot different.”
Already, 38% of Republicans are saying Trump should be challenged in the 2020 primaries. While people are reportedly satisfied with the job Trump is doing, “They also might like to have a choice in 2020 that's different from Trump," Kristol said. He gave great insight into who he thought this might be, with emphasis on Trump's top opponent in 2016, John Kasich.
In order to be a successful in 2020, Kristol believes that candidates can’t be completely anti-Trump, and need to show they’re capable of making changes.
“People don’t want to be told they’re unhappy when they’re unhappy, they want someone who’s going to change things.”
Politics & Eggs is considered a must stop for anyone thinking about a presidential run. The event also welcomes guests from other angles of the political field, including analysts such as Kristol. Regardless, there’s a 2020 buzz ahead of every Politics & Eggs appearance, and the speaker is almost guaranteed to get asked the big question: “Do you see yourself running?”
When asked this after his speech, Kristol laughed and replied, “No, I’d prefer to help someone else.”
The New England Council, a Politics & Eggs partner, is a non-partisan association of New England businesses, health and academic institutions, and private and public organizations. The goal of the Council is to promote economic growth across New England, build relationships between its members and federal policy makers, and to support federal policies which benefit region. The organization works with both Democrats and Republicans but does not endorse either political party.
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