What Trump campaign?

The shambolic Trump campaign.

Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos picked up this interesting item on the GOP’s failure to defend Trump against Clinton’s latest attack:

And, amazingly, go to their home page, and Trump is mentioned NOWHERE. There is nothing, anywhere.

This is June 3, and the home page will change. Still, this is very strong additional evidence that there is something very seriously wrong with the Trump campaign. He has precisely one media relations person on his staff, against Clinton’s 12. The RNC only has the money to pay for precisely one campaign staffer in Arizona, a vulnerable state. Trump has insulted Susana Martinez of New Mexico, chair of the Republican Governors’ Association, alienated Rick Snyder of Michigan, and done nothing to bring John Kasich of Ohio on board. He has quarrelled with the press that has sustained his campaign with celebrity coverage, and has now started to fact-check his statements as if he were a real politician. Jonathan Chait sums up:

Trump’s campaign is an absolute garbage fire. By all accounts it is the most organizationally and strategically inept campaign for a successful major-party nominee in recorded history. Ashley Parker and Maggie Haberman round up many of the details, but the basic story that emerges from their reports and others is that Trump has absolutely no idea what he’s doing.

I did predict here a fortnight ago that things were not likely to develop to Trump’s advantage. I had not expected things to move so fast.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web

12 thoughts on “What Trump campaign?”

  1. And yet, the garbage fire is running fairly close to the hardened political pro, somehow, in the latest polls.

    I'll grant you, this could be because most of the population finds the hardened political pro repugnant on multiple levels, and only starts to like her when she goes away and they have a chance to forget just how awful she is. One can never discount Hillary's sheer unlikeablity.

    But, this can't explain how he beat a whole field of political pros in the primaries. With no more of a "campaign"! As my last boss said before moving me into the R&D division, doing things in strange ways and failing can be dismissed as incompetence, but doing things in strange ways and *succeeding* has to be something else.

    He's clearly not running a normal campaign. But he's equally clearly doing SOMETHING, and it's foolish to discount that.

    1. Sam Wang says that May (election minus 6 months) is the least informative month for polling, as the primaries wind down and the conventions have not fixed the lineups definitively.

      Primaries don't rely on GOTV to anything like the same extent as the general. A campaign that does not put boots on the ground would indeed be novel, in the sense of crazy, and most unlikely to work against an orthodox adversary.

      Trump has had a grotesquely free ride from the press so far. They have lapped up his provocations and allowed him to upstage his useless Republican rivals. This seems to be changing, and the press is behaving to him in its normal adversarial way. He is now facing a hardened professional with money, nerve and organization.

      Hillary Clinton is "unlikeable" because your people have been telling each other for 30 years that she is a horrible person because. She's not as charming as her husband or as classy as Barack Obama, but they are exceptional. Is she less likeable that Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan or Chuck Schumer or Bernie Sanders or Jimmy Carter? What we are seeing is basically reversion to the mean. But taking a hobbit against a balrog, there's no contest.

      1. Yeah, let's see what happens with the polls after the Democrats have also had the coming together that always (and I mean always) follows a hotly contested primary. The Republicans got a head start on that, but unless Sanders goes the full Henry Wallace, it will happen on the other side, too.

        1. I'll certainly agree that the polls aren't worth much at this point, for that reason and others less likely to be acknowledged here. But dismissing Trump as doomed for lack of things he lacked while beating seasoned opponents strikes me as unmerited confidence.

          Trump has things going for him that you're, predictably not taking into account. An IG report, an FBI investigation, his opponents' followers acting like thugs right out in the open at his rallies. Every burnt police car is probably worth at least 10,000 votes.

          Next Tuesday will tell us a lot; If Bernie carries California, the Democratic Party coming together becomes less likely.

          1. It isn't that the rest of us don't take the IG report and FBI investigation into account; it's that we've actually read what;s come out about them and understand what's likely to result. In particular, we are familiar with the legal definition of "gross negligence", and know that conducting email policy the way your predecessors did doesn't qualify.

        2. The latest poll gives Clinton back at a 10-point lead over Trump, and that's with Sanders still in the race. A pinch of salt of course, but there is no reason to distrust the trend picture of a solid lead, which will be magnified by the Electoral College. (That's why ignoring Kasich, who is still governor of Ohio, is grossly incompetent tactics by Trump.) As I tried to point out a fortnight ago, Clinton's negatives have already been baked in to polling for some time, and the chance of something game-changing emerging to he discredit are slight.

  2. You've likely read what's come out about them in outlets determined to downplay them, if you didn't think them worth mentioning.

  3. James, on behalf of a big chunk of my country… I apologize for putting you and others abroad through this sad, scary drama. (I'll apologize again later if he wins.) It's times like these when we need to keep our sense of humor. Here's a question: would it even be possible though for Trump to be a worse president than 43? Is there even any room down there? I mean, on character they are worlds apart, but, I wonder. Hope we don't find out.

    Brett, I'm sorry to say it but I do tend to think Trump is outside the pale. (are we not supposed to say that anymore, btw?) A respectable person cannot vote for him, I think (about 95% sure). Sorry. (Note, I'm not asking you to tell us, if you don't want. I usually won't either.)

    1. I'd feel more embarrassment as an American if the rest of the world were showing better judgment about who they let get close to the levers of power. But it isn't. Geert Wilders? Marine le Pen? Viktor Orban? Hopefully Silvio Berlusconi's political career is over, but that wasn't exactly Italy's finest hour.

  4. Five days have passed since this piece was posted, and there's still no mention of Trump on the GOP home page. There's a link to a petition you can sign saying that, "it is critical Republicans take back the White House." There are links to pieces attacking Clinton and pushing the Sanders campaign, and one of these (dated June 7) informs us that, "an ABC poll indicates that twenty percent of Sanders supporters would vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton." But the name "Trump" is still absent from the GOP home page.

    1. Yeah, the GOP establishment are still groping about for some way to escape having Trump as the nominee, without burning the party down around them. But there is no way out; He's won square and fair, and if they deny him the nomination anyway, the GOP as a national party is dead.

      They'll come to that realization in time, I think.

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