Last updated on August 20, 2020
Gabe Sherman of Vanity Fair has another article that points out how “cocooned” Trump is from bad news. Sherman focuses on Trump’s inane views of the selection of Kamala Harris for VP by Joe Biden. Digby has already covered the blatant and knuckle dragging sexism of Trump and some of his so called advisors, so I won’t belabor that point. Besides, I’m not a woman. Therefore, I have no great insights into “suburban housewives.” But I can notice when a person is living in denial or has built a condo on the River of Denial. And you can’t fix anything if you have a time share on that river.
One reason for Trump’s optimism may be that he’s living in a right-wing-media bubble where Biden is presented as a cartoon of a doddering old man controlled by antifa, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—and now Harris. (“Slow Joe” and “Phony Kamala” is how the campaign is already framing the pair.) “Trump keeps asking people, when are voters going to realize Biden is mentally out to lunch?” a Republican briefed on the conversations told me. “But he’s only seeing clips of Biden screwing up.”
Savor that for many, many, many minutes about Biden being the one who is “mentally out to lunch.”
It gets better:
At his press briefing on Tuesday, Trump called Harris “nasty,” a preview of the misogynist playbook he’s likely to follow in the months ahead. According to sources who have spoken with Trump, his view of the race is increasingly optimistic. Sources said he’s been pleased so far with new campaign manager Bill Stepien and senior strategist Jason Miller, and sees the numbers in swing states improving. “Trump thinks the polls are tightening,” a Republican close to the campaign told me.
Don’t bring Trump bad poll numbers. He will shoot the messenger and scream about “FAKE POLLS!” Last time I checked, there was no real data supporting a “tightening” of the polls, especially in the swing states.
And deep down, I think Trump knows this, but he cannot bring himself to confront any of the problems. And I am not just talking about the coronavirus pandemic. I’m talking about something that is much more important to Trump: the lack of adoring crowds.
As Trump blasts Biden’s age and absence from the trail, Trump campaign staffers are privately frustrated that the president is refusing to get out there himself. Since his disastrous and sparsely attended Tulsa rally in June, Trump has largely cocooned himself inside the White House, leaving only for a few public events and visits to his private clubs. “Trump has told the campaign he only wants to do one or two events a week. They keep putting ideas in front of him, and he is telling them ‘no,’” a Republican close to the campaign told me. One Republican close to the West Wing speculated that Trump doesn’t like doing small events like factory visits because they promote other people’s companies. “He thinks, Why should I do that?” the Republican said.
Emboldened is my doing. I think this is a big tell. Tulsa shook Trump badly. And he wants a big rally to soothe his shattered ego, but Trump is afraid that there will be another Tulsa fiasco.
The Media keeps wanting Trump to pull a rabbit out of the hat. But why should anything really change between now and November? Trump is on a particular trajectory, and unless something comes along and forces Trump to change (I know. Not possible), there will be more stumbling by Trump. To fix something, you have to admit that you have a problem in the first place. Trump cannot do that.
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