Election 2020

“Malignantly crazy”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As Bob would say, no one should "get happy" or cocky, but the polls are not looking good for Trump.

Trump has been trailing in every battleground for months and barely holding on in Texas while CNN's latest national poll found Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by 14 points.

Trump has noticed that he's deep under water and he's "malignantly crazy" about it according to Vanity Fair which also reports that he's privately blaming his campaign manager Brad Parscale and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In Donald Trump’s West Wing, being a member of the Trump family has historically been the ultimate job security. But that truism is being stress-tested after a run of polls consistently show Trump losing to Joe Biden at this stage of the race—a CNN poll this morning has him down 14 points. According to a source close to the White House, Trump has mulled taking oversight of the campaign away from his son-in-law Jared Kushner. “Trump is malignantly crazy about the bad poll numbers,” a former West Wing official said. “He’s going to broom Kushner and [Brad] Parscale—the numbers are not getting better,” a Republican close to the campaign said. [...]

The polling has gotten worse because Trump still hasn’t figured out how to handle the politics of the protest movement sparked by the police killing of George Floyd. Axios reported the campaign is debating whether Trump should talk about national unity. Trump took some solace in last week’s unemployment report, which was less horrendous than many economists expected. “He was in a good mood, he thinks the jobs numbers will turn things around,” said a Republican that spoke with Trump.

If Trump think he's going to run on the economy after over 40 million people lost their jobs, I have some bad news for him. But I digress.

Trump put Parscale and Kushner in charge of his 2020 reelection campaign because he thinks they did a great job in 2016, but they didn't. I know it's easy to forget after all this time, but Trump's 2016 campaign was a shitshow inside a dumpster fire. But there was a key difference: they had outside help!

A rogue's gallery of Russian, Israeli, British, and Saudi hackers, among others, all meddled in the 2016 election largely on behalf of Trump. Parscale and Kushner didn't invent some new formula or secret sauce; they didn't figure out something that no other campaign had before. All they did was accept the help of foreign powers that aren't meddling in the 2020 election at the same scale that they did in 2016, at least not yet.

Trump and his campaign have made Parscale a very rich man; a rich man who recently unveiled his campaign "death star" which consists of little more than Facebook memes.

The Daily Beast reported this morning that Brain Genius Brad Parscale is dumping large sums of money into the D.C. media market just so Trump will see it on his own television inside the White House.

With their boss growing increasingly agitated with the state of his re-election campaign and with the efforts of Republican critics to undermine it, President Donald Trump’s team hatched a plan. They’d run a series of hard-hitting ads and place them on networks that they knew the president and congressional Republicans would watch.

And so, over the past month, the Trump campaign has spent slightly more than $400,000 on cable news ads in the Washington, D.C., area, buying time largely on Fox News but with some smaller buys on CNN and MSNBC as well, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The ads began running in late May and are scheduled through June 23. It is, on a purely electoral level, a remarkably quixotic use of campaign cash. The purchases have no real shot of moving D.C., Maryland, or Virginia into the Trump column.

But that wasn’t the point. The Trump campaign said the ad buys were an attempt to reinvigorate and reassure the president’s supporters in the nation’s capital. “We want members of Congress and our DC-based surrogates to see the ads so they know our strong arguments for President Trump and against Joe Biden,” wrote Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director, in an email on Monday.

The only supporters Trump has in the capital are GOP congressmen who aren't actually in D.C. most of the time.

Although Parscale has been Trump's right-hand man since 2016, Trump and his supporters are going to declare war on him at some point. It's hard to imagine Trump will retain Parscale if he heads into August or September while still down by 10 points or more nationally even if it's largely Trump's own fault. Everyone who works with Trump is eventually humiliated.

  • Aynwrong

    “Axios reported the campaign is debating whether Trump should talk about national unity.”

    Sending out Donald Trump to talk about “national unity” is like offering up the musings of Cthulhu as a balm to madness.

    I question the logic of placing Trump ads on Fox. Fox is a Trump ad.

  • muselet

    First, Jared Kushner is going nowhere (at least until—the good lord willing and the creek don’t rise—January of next year).

    “Any time Jared is in the papers, Trump complains, ‘We have to get Jared back to New York!’” said a Republican who heard Trump make the comment. In the end, the source cautioned that Trump won’t push Kushner out. “This is typical with him and Jared,” the source said.

    Brad Parscale, on the other hand may very well be dead man walking, although hiring the often-wrong John McLaughlin to “unskew the polls” could help him last until November.

    And second, if the Trump campaign wants to flush a few hundred grand down the pan on DC-area ads on cable news channels, let ‘em.

    –alopecia

  • Draxiar

    Not a dram of sympathy for Kushner or Parscale here but when the pilot insists on flying the plane into the ground because he doesn’t want to appear weak you can’t blame the navigators for the plane crash.

    Reality is biting trump in his big doughy ass and I am pleased by this.