What a campaign!

by | Aug 22, 2016 | Editor's Blog, Presidential race | 8 comments

The Trump campaign really is a fascinating beast. Trump fired most of the political professionals around him and replaced them with media hacks. He brought in the chairman of Breitbart News to lead his campaign. Last night, we learned that Sean Hannity is serving as an informal advisor to the campaign. Now, former wing-nut Congresswoman Michelle Bachman has announced that she’s advising Trump on foreign policy.

Instead of putting together a field operation, he’s trying to drive people to polls the polls with inflammatory rhetoric and mass rallies. The only people who seem to be responding are white supremacists. They’ve been emboldened by Trump and are more visible and active than they’ve been in decades.

And every time Trump seems to be taking a more measured approach, he suddenly lets loose. Last week, Trump briefly appeared to be more serious and moving toward a slightly more presidential persona. Then this morning he went off on Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Twitter. “Some day, when things calm down, I’ll tell the real story of @JoeNBC and his very insecure long-time girlfriend, @morningmika. Two clowns!”

Meanwhile, the Clinton Campaign just secured $80 million in television for the final two months of the campaign, including buys in North Carolina. In addition, the campaign has 19 field offices in North Carolina in contrast to the Trump campaign that might not have any. A rally in Charlotte indicated that Trump’s audience in the state is shrinking and he apparently spent more on event venues than he did staff. The Democrats are putting together a complete campaign that takes nothing for granted and presses their advantages at every opportunity. Trump is picking fights with the media.

Still, it’s just August. Trump could still recover enough to give Republicans a chance to hold onto Congress. He does seem to be easing up on his immigration stance of mass deportations but that might hurt his base and will certainly make him look like a flip-flopper.  He will need to either make that elusive pivot or keep his mouth shut, neither of which he has been able to do this summer.


  1. jge

    Boom, my earlier comment is illustrated; NY Times: “Trump, shifting tone, says he will be fair on immigration”. He keeps doing this, a month from now, two months from now, Joe Sixpack’s wife (Joe’s gonna vote for him anyhow) says “my Joe says stupid things from time to time too, he just gets worked up because he cares so much, but he’s a good man”.

    • The Ghost of Elections Past

      I think that was what Edith said about Archie Bunker, too.

  2. Jay Ligon

    I had a crazy uncle who belonged to the John Birch Society in Colorado. When his name came up, the adults would shake their heads and sigh. Everyone knew Uncle Jack was living a delusional existence, except Uncle Jack and his wife. There have always been nutty people who seek attention from the media. If you spend 10 minutes in Los Angeles, I promise you will meet at least a few of them.

    What has changed is our approach to crazy people. We ignored crazy people decades ago. Newspapers gave them no ink, and news media aimed their cameras elsewhere. For some reason, we listen to them now. We give them air time and we discuss their latest utterances with a combination of surprise and mirth. The American soap opera includes the shared experience of wondering how crazy people end up with such outsized profiles.

    We wonder when someone will tell Michelle Bachman that her husband is gay. He is gay enough to be First Lady, but she doesn’t seem to be aware of this. We wonder when Sarah Palin will sober up. We wonder how Ann Coulter can sell even one book, and believe she should be on some kind of list that prohibits her from ever buying a chainsaw.

    We seem to have lost the filter that excludes completely insane ideas. We keep waiting for money to trickle down from the top 1%. It’s been 30 years; perhaps, a few nickels and dimes would have made their way down here by now. Or we should change our expectation that money will ever trickle down from the super rich to the rest of us? Why do people who keep getting divorced and hate their children preach to us about “Family Values?” Let them preach, but why would we listen to them? Republican politicians are caught every few weeks cheating on their wives or soliciting sex from men. Why would we continue to believe that they are more moral than the rest of us?

    Now we have Donald J. Trump, the king of the crazies, within a dozen percentage points of the White House. His campaign is incompetent; his speeches are incoherent; he is utterly without qualifications. Yet, he is still in the race with a slim chance of winning today. Trump doesn’t have a decent or honest bone in his body. He refuses to pay his bills. He lies about pretty much everything. Some Republicans like this guy. He will destroy the country, and maybe the world, but they like this guy.

    We should start a new party in this country. Call it the Filbert Party. A large tent filled with nuts of every description, a safe place where Alex Jones can rant about false flags, and Ann Coulter could rave about liberals. Sean Hannity would be free to diagnose mental illnesses without any medical education. The John Birch people could search under couch cushions for Communists. Neo-Nazis would be free to wear their swastikas.

    Trump would have all his people in one place. There would be a shocking number of Americans who would identify as Filberts. The problems in this country are not economic or political. It is a public health issue. There aren’t enough psychiatrists.

    • Norma Munn

      I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Except for the fact that Trump scares the hell out of me, which fits perfectly with the analysis. I used to mutter about exiling certain politicians to a deserted island where they would all have to suffer one anothers vapid and/or stupid ideas for eternity. The list has long since become too long for a single island, but the name for the hotel ( should there be one) is now quite obvious.

    • A D Reed

      Love your concept.

      Maybe the Filberts’ logo, like the GOP’s elephant, could be Mr. Peanut, replete with cane and monocle, but wearing a tin hat.

  3. jge

    Unfortunately he still has time to “make that elusive pivot or keep his mouth shut”. So, coupled with the amazing amnesia of the American voter, I’m afraid he still has a chance.

  4. Norma Munn

    I guess I should have expected the Sarah Palin role, but had forgotten her. (Mercifully.) I honestly cannot recall any campaign for any office so insanely managed or staffed. If someone took this script to Hollywood, it would not sell.
    I do not, however, agree that the only people responding to the Trump campaign are white supremacists. There are people, mostly white I agree, who have deep and long standing economic problems that have been mostly ignored and who are attracted to Trump simply because he is at least not “more of the same.” The same has failed them too often and despite the fact that Trump would really never be able to do anything for them, he has convinced many of them that he would try. Is that likely? I am sure it is not, but I don’t know what I would do if I were in their shoes. Some probably are racists, but make no mistake, not all are and I doubt racism drives them as much as economic pain.
    There is something we all have to learn from this debacle of a campaign. Just as Bernie brought idealistic young people and old 60’s lefties into an active role in this race, so has Trump found and attracted another group that is participating. Don’t we need all of those folks involved in the civic life of this country? (Well, skip the genuine white supremacists.) I can only hope that Hillary means that she will be a president for everyone and will seriously focus on some of the long neglected problems of those so long left out. Of course, any success in that area will depend on a willing partner, i.e., Congress and nothing I see leads me to believe that Paul Ryan, or Mitch McConnell, will ever be that.

  5. Randolph Voller

    Trump’s exit strategy is likely to move into media with a readymade audience of “Duck Dynasty” aficionados titillated by D-list celebrities like Scott Baio.

    As FOX News changes under the leadership of a new generation, Roger Ailes and his ilk will likely move their propaganda machine to a new sponsor such as Trump and keep minting money on ad sales for products that we don’t need.

    I was a delegate for Senator Sanders and although we had and still have policy differences with Secretary Clinton she is leagues ahead of Trump.

    In fact if Trump had been inserted into a “debate” or “forum” with Sanders and Clinton, America would have witnessed the unadulterated truth: he is hardly more than a carnival barker whipping up crowds like an aging comic cracking wise at a venue on the Strip in Vegas.

    Translation: he is willfully ignorant on a host of issues and his solutions are a nothing more than a hodge-podge of recycled public policy prescriptions that have proven to have little or no efficacy.

    He is a disaster cloaked by an unchecked ego.

    I suppose the upside of Trump’s effort(s) has been to expose openly the dog whistle politics practiced for decades by GOP right wing consultants.

    Trump is their Frankenstein.

    They built it.

    And they own it.

    Now we must defeat it.

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