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Pundits Talk 2020 Elections, Trump’s Presidency, and Changing Politics

National politics took Michigan’s Center Stage at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference, as three pundits offered insight on the current state of American politics.

Harold Ford Jr., managing partner of HFJ Advisors, moderated a lively conversation between Donna Brazile, a contributor for Fox News, and Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News. In between conversation about the Mueller Report, bipartisanship, and more, they discussed the importance of reinvigorating trust in political leadership.

“This new candidate that will emerge is a candidate who can appeal to the future and not just the past,” Brazile said. She said the candidate to watch is future-oriented. “We keep having candidates who keep looking in the rearview mirror.”

There is historical precedence that difficult times cultivate dynamic leaders, said Dowd. He cited George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt as leaders who arose in the midst of change.

The 2020 election will be the most fascinating to watch, Brazile said, with millennials going to the polls more than ever and topics entering the political conversation including climate change, democratic socialism, and more.

“Democracy is a gift. It’s not a given,” Dowd said.

Key Takeaways:

On the Mueller Report: Brazile notes that Robert Mueller, former special counsel, has done a thorough job considering the facts and circumstances. Leaders in Congress should perform constitutional function and put country over party, Dowd said.

On Michigan: According to Dowd, Michigan is a perfect state and microcosm of the country because it has diversity in race, rural and urban areas, faith tradition, and a mixture global companies and small businesses.

On Trump: Dowd cited Trump’s successes as his work on criminal justice reform and reluctance to enter into another war. Brazile noted trade with China, call to action to end America’s opioid crisis, and the 2018 farm bill.

This session was sponsored by Delta Air Lines.