With Republicans saying Trump seems “down in the dumps,” the president seems to be reluctantly waking up to the grim reality that, if the current situation holds, his reelection is gone. https://t.co/FEuHs8YD7F
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) July 2, 2020
Mel Brooks knew but half of it!
Gabriel Sherman: “They probably won’t have” the Jacksonville convention. The Joni Ernst campaign is angry at Trump’s horrible numbers. Meadows and Kushner are at loggerheads over Parscale. And if things don’t turn around by Labor Day, GOP defections may begin”…
With Donald Trump’s approval sinking to Jimmy Carter levels and coronavirus cases spiking across the country, Trump is reluctantly waking up to the grim reality that, if the current situation holds, his reelection is gone. Republicans that have spoken with Trump in recent days describe him as depressed and “down in the dumps.” “People around him think his heart’s not in it,” a Republican close to the White House said. Torn between the imperative to win suburban voters and his instincts to play to his base, Trump has complained to people that he’s in a political box with no obvious way out. According to the Republican, Trump called Tucker Carlson late last week and said, “what do I do? What do I do?”…
Mr. Kushner and Mr. Parscale appear increasingly at odds. Mr. Kushner has sent mixed signals about his view of the campaign manager: In a meeting with Republican officials this week, Mr. Kushner repeatedly shushed Mr. Parscale and told him to “shut up” https://t.co/cX3yFMfJ3j
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) July 3, 2020
When the host is failing, the lampreys swim away. The NYTimes’ A team, led by Maggie Haberman, explicate “Why June Was Such a Terrible Month for Trump”:
… As Mr. Trump heads to Mount Rushmore on Friday to spend the Independence Day holiday in the carved presence of presidential greatness, he is suffering through the most trying stretch of his administration thanks in large part to his self-inflicted wounds. June represented the political nadir of his three and a half years in the Oval Office, when a race in which he had been steadily trailing, but faring respectably, broke open and left him facing the possibility of not just defeat but humiliation this fall.
In addition to public surveys showing him losing decisively to Joseph R. Biden Jr. in a number of battleground states, private Republican polls in recent weeks show the president struggling even in conservative states, leading Mr. Biden by less than five points in Montana and trailing him in Georgia and even Kansas, according to G.O.P. officials who have seen the data…
Yet as demoralizing as June was for many Republicans, what was less visible were the frenetic, and often fruitless, attempts by top Republicans to soothe the president and steer him away from self-sabotage, while also manipulating him to serve their own purposes.
Interviews with almost four dozen Republican lawmakers, strategists and administration officials about Mr. Trump’s re-election bid paint a picture of a White House and a re-election effort adrift, at once paralyzed by Mr. Trump’s erratic behavior yet also dependent on him to execute his own Houdini-like political escape. Most of those interviewed requested anonymity to freely discuss internal deliberations, and to avoid retribution from the president…
Letting Trump be Trump will delight some of his most committed supporters, but it is likely to dishearten Republicans who are already nervous about losing the Senate and yielding further ground in the House…
Trump’s campaign is like a custom suit in that it no longer fits after four months of quarantine. https://t.co/wIhi8liTVc
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 3, 2020
Official ‘Toddler in Chief’ collator Dan Drezner, at the Washington Post — “The beginning of the end for the Toddler in Chief?”
… It took 30 months for Trump to get to the 1,000th entry in this thread. It took only seven months to get to the 1,500th. If the president continues at his current pace, the #ToddlerinChief thread might hit 2,000 before Election Day. Even a slight taper would not prevent Trump from hitting 2,000 before Inauguration Day in January.
What explains the surge? After all, Trump, who is obsessed with the idea of loyalty, has constantly purged his staff in an effort to eliminate leaks.
Rocket science is not required for the answer. Reports of Trump’s immature behavior are a function of two inputs: negative news that causes Trump to have a meltdown, and his staff’s willingness to talk to reporters about it, There was no shortage of negative news for Trump last quarter. The acute phase of the coronavirus pandemic, combined with a toddler-like reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests, combined with Trump’s decline in the polls did a lot of the work.
The other element that led to a surge in the past few weeks, however, suggests additions to the thread will not taper for the rest of Trump’s term. Simply put, as Trump seems less potent, his current and former staffers are less intimidated about dishing dirt…
The vicious circle Trump will face is that stories about his immaturity will hurt him in news coverage and in the polls, which will in turn generate more toddler-like outbursts, which will in turn generate more stories. It’s a self-reinforcing doom loop.
Can Trump pull it together and not get to 2,000 entries? I doubt it. There have been too many stories in recent weeks about Trump rejecting the advice of staffers or family and simply going with his instincts. And his political instincts are outdated.
With luck, the #ToddlerinChief thread has less than seven months left. It is going to be a busy seven months.