Updated November 3, 2020
Is it possible that Trump knows he is not going to be reelected? This morning on Fox and Friends Trump, sounding very tired and slurring some of his words, responded to the question from one of the hosts who asked Trump when he would declare victory. Trump said he wouldn’t play games. Hmm. Trump has been saying he would object to any ballots counted after Election Day even though many states always count ballots after Election Day. Playing games. You have to wonder if Trump was reacting to the taunt from Barack Obama yesterday. In a rally in Florida, Obama told the crowd that Trump would try to declare victory before all the votes were counted and that was something a two bit dictator would do, not a president of the United States. Trump has been alternately combative and aggrieved in these last days of the campaign as it looks more and more likely that he will lose. Trump also complained bitterly about Fox not being biased enough in his favor in this morning’s rant on Fox and Friends.
You have to wonder if Trump is as sick of being president as Americans are sick of him being president. The way Trump is president is ever combative and aggrieved. Frankly, it is exhausting. For everyone.
Trump himself riffed at one of his rallies about jumping into a truck parked nearby and taking off for parts unknown.
During the rally in Allentown, Trump looked over at a truck and mused about hopping in and leaving his presidential life behind.
“I’d love to do it. Just drive the hell out of here,” he said. “Just get the hell out of this. I had such a good life. My life was great.”
Could he be doing the seemingly self-destructive things we see him doing for a good reason?
At Trump’s campaign rally in Florida Sunday night the crowd began to chant “Fire Fauci!” Trump riffed on this telling the crowd not to tell anyone but it might just happen after the election. Dr. Fauci is far more trusted than Donald Trump. Fauci and the medical community in general are trusted voices in our country as we face a huge, terrifying surge in coronavirus cases that could soon overwhelm our hospitals.
Joe Biden’s response to this gift from Trump was priceless: “Last night Trump said he was going to fire Dr. Fauci…. I got a better idea- elect me, and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci! And we’re going to fire Donald Trump! The first step to beating the virus is beating Donald Trump!”
Trump gave Biden a wonderful gift with that comment of his in Florida. Could it be that much of what we are watching doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you know his underlying motive?
Danny Deutsch, who is a marketing and branding professional, thinks so. He thinks Trump anticipates losing reelection and he is lining up his excuses for that loss and preparing for his next act. Deutsch and others think Trump is planning to launch his own TV network that will poach his adoring base away from Fox News and over to Trump TV so he can become the billionaire he always dreamed of being. Hmm. Interesting.
Here’s some evidence that he is not interested in doing what he would need to do to be reelected.
- Trump has NO platform. He is running on the strength of his personality and his appeal to his base. There is no articulated Republican platform and none was adopted at their convention. Trump is unable to tell even friendly supportive folks on Fox why he deserves a second term and what he plans to do in a second term. The only thing you hear from Trump on this topic is the usual vague promises you get with any con man. It will be the best health care ever. It will be the best economy ever. No plans. No details.
2. Trump has been busy having super-spreader events. Tonight in the White House Trump is planning to have yet another intimate gathering as the election returns come in. The last event in the Rose Garden with Amy Coney Barrett was a bona fide super-spreader. Many people who attended got the virus after that. These events that puff Trump up make a lot of sense if he is planning to get his cult base to watch Trump TV after he loses the presidency.
3.Trump played to no one beyond his base in this campaign. Trump did not do anything new. He ran through his greatest hits album from 2016. There were some unverified emails about Hunter Biden he got from Rudy Guiliani via a Russian spy. Steve Bannon is in this plot to dirty up Biden too. Not credibly sourced of information. This stuff was so baseless that even Fox news refused to cover the story or give it credence. Even Putin commented that there was nothing there with Hunter Biden. Putin! No one wanted to take credit for the story that ran in the New York Post. The female reporter whose name appeared as the author wasn’t told anything about the piece that had her name attached to it. The man who wrote the piece pawned it off on her without her knowledge. This was dreck. Garbage. But Trump’s base loved it. They chanted “lock him up” about Joe Biden.
4. Trump continued to rile up his crowds with lock her up chants targeting Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. His rotten base loved that too. But it turns off a lot of women including suburban women voters in Michigan and other Rust Belt states and those are the voters Trump needs if he really hopes to win. In 2016 he won white women by 50% in Pennsylvania. Hillary got 47% of that voter bloc. Biden is currently 23 points ahead of Trump with white suburban women. 100 million people have already voted. Trump never ingratiated himself with this crucial segment of the electorate.
5. Trump never expected to become president. He always wanted to build his brand and market his name, not become president. He may be ready for his next chapter, the one he had to put on hold because he surprised everyone, even himself, by winning the presidency in 2016.
We have learned some things about Trump’s personality after seeing him in action for the past four years.
- He cares only about himself. Ok, maybe his family too a little.
- His goal in life is to make money. His self-worth depends on how much money he can get people to believe he has. He is also in debt. The debt is estimated to be a billion dollars. That’s a lot of money he needs to pay someone back.
- He doesn’t really have a political ideology or policy ideas. He is an opinionated novice not a seasoned legislator. But he is a successful brander/ marketer.
What if Trump has realized he will not win reelection but he could make a killing with his own television channel and that that is a much better next act?
- If Trump is not really invested in reelection but all about starting his own network or channel where he is the big superstar making lots of dough, then most of what he is doing makes perfect sense.
- Of course it makes sense that he is playing to his base. These are the people who will make him rich by watching Trump TV. He will want them to switch over from Fox to Trump. Maybe he is putting down Fox in anticipation.
- It makes sense that he is out there as the bad boy rebel defying mask wearing and every other rule he is supposed to follow. That fits his persona and helps him gain traction as a combative superstar bad boy.
- It makes sense that he considered wearing a Superman T shirt under his suit jacket when he left Walter Reed hospital. That is perfect image for him to help to reinforce his larger than life TV persona. Not a great image for a president but terrific branding device for a TV personality.
- Maybe it makes sense that he never broadened his base.
I do not know if Danny Deutsch is right, but if you think about it, maybe his idea could be right.
Ok. maybe I like this idea because I can’t wait to be rid of this lying, cheating, corrupt, inept, divisive mess of a man as our president.
But I have to say I would be delighted if his legacy was that he came into power on the backs of a corrupt and broken Republican Party which he then totally hijacked and bent to his will only to leave office, primarily, thanks to a pandemic that exposed his ineptitude, and as he left he totally blows up the GOP, reducing it to tatters and opening the door to a Democratic wave election, ushering in unitary Democratic governance: House, Senate and White House. Yeah. That would be a pretty darn satisfying end to Trump’s hideous reality TV show presidency.
And I think that’s what is coming probably late tonight or early tomorrow morning based on Charlie Cook of Cook Political and other pundits who know a lot more than I do about calling elections.
The only thing that would make this storyline even better is a different ending: Trump loses the election and he leaves office with the goal of building his TV empire that will finally make him a billionaire… but is arrested for his crimes instead by the NY States Attorney’s Office (Cyrus Vance), and goes to jail for the rest of his life. Yeah. I like that ending a whole lot better. How about you?
Well, hey! Would you like to help Trump lose? There is still time to get active!