President Donald Trump's days in office could be numbered.
If so, it most likely won't be because of the partisan special counsel hit squad or because Democrats are calling for impeachment simply because they don't like the man.
Trump will be a one-term president if he doesn't fulfill the key campaign promises of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and repealing and replacing Obamacare. Those two promises were the crux of his 2016 presidential campaign, thrusting him to victory despite his being an unconventional political outsider.
Voters also elected the billionaire businessman because they believed his decadeslong experience in the private sector negotiating complex business deals in real estate and beyond would be useful when jostling with foreign leaders and lawmakers on Capitol Hill and would benefit the American people. So far, Trump has succeeded in that arena, by twisting the arms of NATO allies to get them to pay their fair share for military defense and by replacing NAFTA with the USMCA, not to mention the passage of the historic GOP tax cuts ushered in last year. All "wins" for the administration, but when it comes to politics, nothing's older than yesterday's headlines.
The Trump administration is still coming up short when it comes to building the wall — something voters won't forget come the 2020 presidential election. That's especially true for "angel parents" across the U.S., who have had loved ones murdered by people here illegally — heartbreaking, preventable tragedies mainstream media close their eyes to.
This week, Congress passed a stopgap funding bill, known as reconciliation, to avert a government shutdown. This measure didn't have in it the $5 billion Trump wants to secure the porous border — a setback for the president, who will now have an even steeper hill to climb getting the funding needed when budget talks resume in February, given that by then, Nancy Pelosi will control the gavel in the House, not Republicans.
But all hope is not lost. The president has several options available to him, including fulfilling another promise — namely, getting Mexico to pay for the wall. The president could cut a deal with Mexico that benefits that country's economy, helps its security or offers another gimme in exchange for securing the border. Another avenue would be cutting a deal with Democratic lawmakers to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; perhaps Democrats would consider wall funding in exchange for a path to citizenship for the millions of "Dreamers" — people brought here illegally as children by their parents. Or alternatively, Trump might consider calls for a crowdfunding campaign to raise billions for the wall.
Not to mention the possibility of the U.S. Treasury's selling "border bonds" — proposed by Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., last week — to finance an expansion of the current walls along the southern border.
And then there's Obamacare. Republicans have long called for the Affordable Care Act to be repealed and replaced with a better system at a lower cost to consumers.
With two years left in Trump's term to deliver on these promises, the clock is ticking — or voters might look elsewhere come 2020.
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.