If “pivot” means do a one-eighty, then of course a pivot by Trump has to be twice as great. And sure enough, he’s done a full 360 turn, taking him and his unfortunate watchers full circle, where we can expect him to be just as mindless and ignorant as before, but with teleprompters and a ramped up volume.
Proof? Just a few days after bringing on his new campaign leadership team, we see the “new” Trump on full-throated display, as he shouts his meaningless or outright lying claims from behind teleprompters. I mean, readers, he literally shouts, as if his voice and tone were somehow going to be anything but scary to those his campaign needs to be persuading at this late stage.
“Believe me!” he yells at African-Americans, “I’m your friend! I promise you! Trust me!” he insists, in spite of the history of the Republican Party, which has totally ignored the needs and issues of Black Americans for the past forty years and more.
Of course, we all, I hope, understand that Trump’s not really “outreaching” to all those Black voters safely not seated in his rally audiences; he’s speaking to on-the-fence White voters, ostensibly re-assuring them that he’s not really the racist his sociopath mouth has projected these past 15 months. His real message? He’s suggesting he can make up wholesale lies, undersigned by a phony promise of support for African-American concerns, then sell it to them because, as he and his white-supremacist pals will tell you, these ignorant Black voters will believe anything.
They won’t, Donald. Especially coming from you, who’ve made your racist notions and bigotry clear to all who care to listen. And, more to the point, the 95% of Black voters who support Clinton won’t simply walk away from her; they remember how she and her husband have advocated for all America’s minorities for all those same decades of Republican disdain and hate-based neglect.
Enter the Chief Executive Hatemonger
As if we needed more evidence of Trump’s willful determination to raise his campaign’s level of irrational hate and ignorance, we note how he’s turned over the leadership role to Stephen Bannon, the boss and ideological head of Breitbart News.
Trump has named Bannon as the “Campaign CEO”, although it isn’t clear what a political-type CEO might be–in our mind the “CEO” of a political race is the candidate. But in a case like this one where the candidate appears to have no brains, or will to work, or patience with campaigning, maybe turning all this boring detailed stuff over to an experienced political operations manager is a typically brilliant Trumpian move.
Stephen Bannon has exactly zero experience in directing a major political campaign, much less in turning one around that’s drifting toward the rocks. What he does have is years of experience in publishing hit jobs targeting Hillary Clinton. And years of experience running hard core right wing racist, xenophobic web sites. And a radio show specializing in promoting conspiracy theories. And the first name of Steve, to go with all those other Steves Trump recently named to his “Economics Advisory” team, even though their history is one of ripping off economies, not fixing them. Bannon’s an ideal Steve for Trump, in short.
For sure, Bannon’s a perfect choice for managing a web-based 80 day hate-burst directed at Clinton, the liberals and progressives backing her, and the huge group of Republican establishment and moderate sell-outs and traitors undermining Trump. But he’s suspect as an actual manager of a full-on national campaign team. Meaning Trump needed to also appoint an experienced political campaign manager.
Step on down, Kellyanne!
Polls going down? Leading Republicans racing for the exits? Women still strongly opposed to the man who would be il Douche? Time to turn up the nasty. Adios, Reince, Ryan, and Mc-Mc-McConnell; Bye bye, Mr. Manaflub; hello, Ms. Kellyanne Con.
Kellyanne Conway! Wow, someone with polling and campaign strategy chops! Now, we’re talking! And talking. And talking. And talking. Which she does really well, provided she is not forced to say anything factual, answer a direct question, or give a rational explanation of Trump’s latest idiotic rant or thoughtless comment. She is really something at saying nothing!
Which explains why Conway is far and away the star performer among Trump’s media surrogates. She’s so accomplished at spreading misinformation on the cable news channels that it’s surprising Trump would pull her off the air. Oh, but he needs a campaign manager, right.
But the problem is, she isn’t one. She’s a mid-rank pollster who’s never managed a campaign of any size, much less a national one. Her role will be the latest in a long, unsuccessful line of Trump whisperers, riding on the plane with him, calming his inner Beast. “Everything’s good, Mr. Trump! Forget those dozens of mean, biased polls; look at these two!…See?! The sun’s coming up, Mr. Trump! The rally tonight in Beyond Hope, Florida, will be a great success, I just know it will! But please try not to speak quite so loudly this time over the teleprompters, OK?…Yes we can sleep at Mar-a-Lago, tonight, poor tired baby.”
What we’re witnessing is supposedly a “new” Trump campaign, but what we’re actually seeing is the same old campaign, namely the non-campaign presided over by Lewandowski, then Manafort. Neither Mr. Hate nor Ms. Sunshine is going to be paying any serious attention to campaign financing, implementing a ground game, or getting the loose-lipped candidate prepped for the debate with one of the true barracuda debaters of our era.
And no, in case you’re wondering, Roger Ailes may try to coach Trump a bit before Clinton slices him up like a pouting, whining, overripe orange persimmon, but Ailes is not going to allow himself to be closely connected with the campaign; he knows it’s basically a lost cause, and he doesn’t need that after being booted from Fox.
The net result? No effective campaign means no change in the likely outcome, which Dr. Sam Wang, the best election pollster for this Truthteller’s money, this morning says is a 95% probable win for Clinton.
Yeah, yeah, I know: “We mustn’t be over-confident! He could possibly make a come-back! Florida isn’t a lock!” The first being wise, and the third being true, for now, but the second being nonsense. Confidence comes from rational, detailed analysis, assisted by solid data if one is lucky or persistent enough to have it. Overconfidence reflects the absence of qualified analysis. A comeback? A great horse may be able to make up three or four lengths with a powerful stretch run, but an inferior candidate is not going to succeed in walking back the mountain of stupid, hateful, insulting, lying, self-destructive words he’s shouted for over a year. Especially if he has to waddle all the way.