By now, you’ve probably heard that Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is preparing for 2020 by declaring Donald Trump “in very, very, good shape.”
Now, the Republican Party itself, with a growing contingent of independent thinkers, has come out in favor of the former reality TV star.
And the Trump campaign is embracing Priebus’s assessment.
But the president has yet to endorse Priebus’s idea of 2020.
So what does Priebus have to say about that?
“We’re in a very, really good place,” Priebus told Axios in an interview.
“I think if we’re not careful we could get to a position where we’re in very bad shape.
I think that if we are serious about 2020, we’re going to have to be very careful not to let the Democrats, for whatever reason, get to that position.”
The RNC’s new chairman is not a conventional politician.
He has been a consultant for President George W. Bush and is a regular on Fox News and other conservative outlets.
Priebus has been the party’s vice chairman, its chairman of the national finance committee, and the chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign.
He also served as chief of staff to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Priebus is no ordinary political strategist, having worked for both Bush and Clinton.
And he has no problem using Trump’s name.
“I’ve seen it all over,” he said of Trump.
“He has a lot of energy and a lot more people than I have.
He does things a little differently than I do.
And that’s what people are going to be hearing from me.
And so I think we’re all in agreement on what we need to do in the White House.”
The idea that Trump could be in a better place in 2020 than he was in 2020 is not something Priebus has taken lightly.
And it has taken on a life of its own.
There is a growing sense in Washington that the president’s poll numbers are down, his approval rating is low, and that Trump is struggling to make progress on his campaign promises.
In a statement, Trump called Priebus’s comments “false,” adding that the former chairman “has made clear that he does not believe we can win in 2020 without a serious change in direction and a bold, bold message that gets the job done.
The President has done a fantastic job in the first four months, and I’m hopeful that the people of the country will see through his false claims.”
But Priebus isn’t the only Republican leader calling for a serious reset in the way the party views the future of the White, Red, and Blue.
There’s a growing group of conservatives who believe Trump could well have a better chance of winning than any Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.
And Trump himself is not the only GOP figure to embrace that view.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is an independent who has a reputation for being more moderate than his party’s leading Republican.
And Sen. Jeff Flake, R of Arizona, a member of the GOP establishment, told Politico that he thinks Trump’s future looks bright.
“It looks like the Trump presidency is on the brink of going from bad to better,” Flake said.
“It’s like a train wreck on the tracks right now.
He’s just getting started.
And I think if you look at the track record of Republican presidents over the last 30 years, he’s been in a position that he could potentially do better.”
And it’s not just conservative voices.
Even former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who worked closely with Trump during the campaign, is taking a harder line than Priebus on the president.
Manafort said in an exclusive interview with Fox News that he is concerned about Trump’s standing with the Republican base.
“You know, I’m a strong believer that the base is really divided.
That they’re a bunch of angry people.
I don’t think they want a bunch for a president that’s going to get them something, they’re not going to vote for him.
And when they hear that, they think he’s going get things done,” Manafort said.
But he added, “I’m not going there to say that I think he will win in the 2020 election.
I just think he has a real chance to do better than he has in the last four years.”
For the moment, though, Trump’s candidacy remains in the wilderness.
His poll numbers have cratered, and he is in an increasingly perilous position, with less than a week to go before the Iowa caucuses.
And with a Democratic field that includes former Maryland Gov.
Martin O’Malley, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and former New York Gov.
Hillary Clinton, there is a distinct possibility that Trump might not even make it to the debates.
But for Priebus, it’s clear that 2020 will not be an easy time.
He and other Republicans believe Trump is doing too little to appeal to independents and women, and is not doing enough to appeal among minorities.
And they are not convinced that