First things first: John F. Harris writes that this scenario is "not terribly" plausible. But in a piece at Politico Magazine, he lays out why it might make sense for President Trump to quit the 2020 race before November. Harris notes that in March 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson shocked the nation by announcing at the end of a televised address about Vietnam that he would not run for another term. Things were too dire for him to waste any time on partisan matters, LBJ explained. Harris, who notes that Trump's current chances of defeating Joe Biden are not great anyway, sees a parallel in 2020 with the pandemic. He even has a sample address Trump could use.
"Fellow Americans, I know I am a disrupter, and everyone knows I thrive on conflict," Trump could say. "I believe that disruption is what Republicans and the country needed when I ran for president in 2016, and that is what I delivered." But the pandemic changed everything, and "I am going to devote the balance of my term to trying to get this country opened up safely, and allow someone without my sharp edges make the case for Republicans this fall." So why would Trump do it? He seems headed for a loss, which could tarnish his image. Stepping out now would help keep him in the game, "preserving his role as disrupter at large in American politics over the next decade." Read the full column. (Read more President Trump 2020 stories.)