President Donald Trump’s defeat in his border-wall standoff with Congress has clouded his already perilous path to a second term in 2020, undercutting Trump’s cherished image as a forceful leader and deft negotiator, and emboldening alike his Democratic challengers and Republican dissenters who hope to block his re-election. The longest government shutdown in history inflicted severe political damage on the president, dragging down his poll numbers even among Republicans and stirring concern among party leaders about his ability to navigate the next two years of divided government. The indictment was taken by some Republicans as the surest sign yet that Mueller’s investigation is likely to grow more painful to Trump and his associates before it wraps up.
Despite the perception that it’s the binding force behind the ruling AIADMK after its chief Jayalalithaa died more than two years ago, the BJP is caught in an eluding game. It is an open secret that the BJP is keen on an alliance with the AIADMK to match the one sewed up by the Congress with the DMK. But, unlike the Congress-DMK alliance, which has got off to an early start with DMK chief MK Stalin even declaring Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate, the BJP’s problems with the AIADMK are beyond the issue of number of seats to be contested by each of them. Caught in their own internal strife, senior AIADMK leaders are unsure of the winning prospects of a formal handshake with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Local BJP leaders do not mince words in saying that Modi has done a lot for the AIADMK in memory of his good friend, the late Jayalalithaa. . Jayalalithaa ensured the AIADMK won 37 of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu. The BJP won a lone seat in Kanyakumari and its ally PMK won the other seat. Tamil Nadu remains elusive even though Modi announced a number of projects for the state, including a massive defense manufacturing corridor after the one in Uttar Pradesh. Gratitude is hardly a factor that is counted in politics.