As Donald Trump’s “Merry Christmas Rally” in Battle Creek kicks off in a few hours (at 7:30 p.m.), in Washington the House should be edging into the final vote to impeach the president right around that time.
This certainly wasn’t the way Trump planned this pep rally, but he will undoubtedly use this weird juxtaposition to rile up the crowd and rant about Democrats in Congress in an especially angry manner.
The timing should produce some split-screen political theater that gives cable news network anchors a giddy feeling that exceeds any holiday good cheer.
The Kellogg Center was a rather odd location when the event was first announced weeks ago. After all, Battle Creek, located in Calhoun County, is the 30th-largest city in the state, with a population of some 52,000. But Michigan will serve as a pivotal battleground state in the 2020 election and the area of Calhoun and neighboring Kalamazoo County has become the home of many swing voters.
So, maybe not a bad choice for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who will also take the stage tonight. The Michigan Democratic Party is hoping to blunt the president’s as they release various statistics that show Calhoun, Kalamazoo and other key counties have not seen the gains in the economy that Trump promised in 2016.
Dennis Lennox, a northern Michigan GOP political commentator, sees tonight’s rally as an excellent opportunity for Trump to promote the trade deal that will replace NAFTA. Barring an 11th-hour revolt by Mexican politicians, the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada) agreement should receive final approval soon.
In an Op-Ed column today in The Washington Times, Lennox writes:
The rally in Battle Creek, a smallish city about halfway
between Detroit and Chicago … should be about one thing: The new United
The replacement for the deeply unpopular NAFTA — a central plank in
Mr. Trump’s 2016 platform — could help him again carry the Wolverine
State, which explains why the Democratic majority in the lower house
of Congress finally approved the deal. Mr. Trump outmaneuvered
Democrats in 2016 by picking up not only Michigan, but also Wisconsin
and Pennsylvania. Together, the three Rust Belt states went Republican
for the first time since the 1980s.
This was only possible because Mr. Trump’s playbook recast the GOP
into a workers’ party that had the kind of credibility needed to
solidify the support of voters who twice-elected Richard Nixon and
would go on to be called Reagan Democrats. In Michigan, these voters
are generally seen as synonymous with Macomb County, a populous
country in suburban Detroit.
Trump voters in Michigan are hoping for the best Christmas Party ever at tonight’s rally. Democrats are hoping that, under the Capitol dome, the House will vote for impeachment and make 2020 a very unhappy new year for the president.