Sen. Elizabeth Warren, once one of President Trump's biggest opponents on Twitter, is no longer engaging with the president these days – even after persecuting the Massachusetts Democrat, her husband, and her beer. Trump was not represented at the Golden Globe Awards this year, a departure from the last two years when he was repeatedly tormented by the stage. A satirical cable show about him was canceled. A group of ordinary House Democrats rejected Trump's invitation to have lunch at the White House on Tuesday.
Trump, who recently wanted to be lonely in the White House, has lately been in a position where he has been rare in recent years: Ignored.
His political seal of approval was driven by the incorruptible ability to fuel other people to benefit from. The metric he cares about is the possession of television ratings and national attention, more than surveys or anything else.
So what happens if he is hit with a shrug instead?
The new silent treatment restricts Trump to dictate national reporting and shape the day's debate. And it is an early blueprint for how Democratic presidential candidates could try to deal with it in 2020, essentially forcing it to have a conversation with voters they want.
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julián Castro, announced this at the weekend's 2020 campaign, Trump mentioned casually. Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California rarely spoke to Trump during a book tour that served as a warm-up for a likely presidential campaign unless he was asked to.
"My focus, if I want to run," Harris recently told MSNBC, "It would not be Donald Trump."
Trump has spent much of his presidency as an inevitable presence. On TV. On the front pages. He is involved in comments on football matches and Grammy winners and is present at talks with bus stops and at church potluck dinners.
"Donald Trump's preoccupation was from the time he entered his father's company as a young man president, was looking for attention," said Michael D & # 39; Antonio, a Trump biographer and author of the book "The truth about Trump." I think irrelevance is more painful than failure for him. "
He nicknamed his opponents and has long led to crackling reactions among the Democrats who have tried to outrage them Trying to balance offer an alternative.
"In 2016 this was the theory … It was okay to be fixated on Trump because what he said was inherently disqualifying, there was a way to victory by winning It just reminded people how offensive it was, "said Brian Fallon, a Democratic Advisor who was spokesman for Hillary Clinton's campaign," Obviously, that did not work out. "
As President, Trump becomes never be completely irrelevant. However, instead of confronting him directly, the Democratic candidates tried something new in 2018: they stopped talking about Trump so much. They found that the more they talked about him, the more they turned down voters. It would be easier for them to win over moderate Republicans in swing districts if they avoided concentrating on them, and the Democrats did not really have to be reminded why they were mad at him.
Only 11 percent of Democrats' ads in the last month of November's elections mentioned Trump, according to non-party Kantar Media / CMAG and data cited by USA Today.
"Simply being anti-Trump is not enough to win the Democratic nomination and is not enough to win." In 2020, Guy Cecil, chairman of Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA Action said. "Democrats need to tell their own story and share a visionary vision of where to take the land."
Anti-Trump candidates – lawyer Michael Avenatti and activist Tom Steyer, who raises millions for Trump's impeachment – have decided not to run for Democrats. Other candidates or potential candidates have briefly mentioned Trump before turning to other topics.
"I'm not afraid of him and I'm not afraid of his bad language and his naming," said Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) in a video accompanying the announcement of her presidential candidacy on Tuesday. "What this President is doing is inhumane and immoral." She then pointed out that in the Senate she emphasized her efforts to promote women's rights and to protect first responders on 9/11.
Warren embodies one of the most radical changes focus. She once tried to engage Trump on a regular basis, arguing with him on Twitter, and emphasized her willingness to be one of her main strengths.
Having started her campaign this month and trying to recount her life story, she did it almost completely eliminated Trump from her lexicon. She took a video of herself in her kitchen, drank a beer, and offered to her husband (who declined). Trump criticized her, but she mentioned him only once during her multi-day trip to Iowa.
"I think we need to talk about our positive vision," she told reporters in New Hampshire last weekend when she was asked why she was not educating her former nemesis. "I'm ready to fight – everyone knows that. , , I talked about serious politics here in New Hampshire, and I will continue to do so.
These challenges are becoming more difficult, especially as Democrats approach parliamentary elections.
"Democrats should not learn the lessons of 2018," said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster who argued that a degree of struggle against Trump will be needed. "In the meantime, it was about defeating Republican candidates for Congress, and in 2020 Trump will defeat himself."
A challenge for the Democrats is to show that they can capture the imagination of the public without relying on Trump.
"I think a factor People will look at who. , , can a media ecosystem cultivate independently of Trump? "Fallon said. "Who can draw media attention other than just attacks on Trump? Who is naturally interesting and captivating? Can Trump attack them without them getting into quicksand? Because that's a good indicator of who can withstand the state of 19459038, namely the parliamentary elections in 2020. "
Linda Sarsour, co-founder of the Women's March, said that the event would bring a politically stressful event on the weekend." Women's agenda "To underline what the Democratic House could focus on in 2019 and which presidential candidates could be discussed in 2020. While Trump was a big focus in earlier marches, she said, the president's daily indignation was getting smaller and smaller.
"I do not even pay attention to the president; I focus on what needs to be done, "said Sarsour. "I'm not going down the rabbit hole of the distraction. I do not care if he ordered hamburgers for people in the White House. I follow the instructions of the executive because I want to know what we will sue for. "
Anthony Atamanuik, a comedian who was best known for his imitation of Trump, saw his Comedy Central show canceled after the last film failure. His 23 episodes were aired in October.
The decision stems from a combination of the network's insightfulness against overtly political programming and Trump's fatigue among the spectators. The comedians have also struggled with Trump to find the right balance, both in the satirizing of events that call themselves satirists, and in the search for something new.
"I think there is a general fear that you make fun of it, it gives it oxygen," he said. "He says the same things; I could say what he said for two or three years. At some point we have no comments left.
David Weigel contributed to this report.