For those who don’t live in the world of political wonks, our presidential primaries, such as they’ve been, are about over. The mostly disenfranchised citizens of our captive “colony” - Washington D.C. - add a few ballot voices this week. But other than that, it’s finis! Right?
Ah, not so quick there, polling breath. Trips to the polls may be nearly over but the fat lady definitely has not hit her first note.
Some months ago, I opined the Trumpster might not really want the job of President of these United States. Caught some flak. But nothing has changed my mind. In fact, he’s on the record - a long, shameful, disastrous, racist, bigoted, misogynist record - saying he doesn’t see himself doing the day-to-day work. Just “chairman of the board,” an above-it-all position with details/work “farmed out” to “experts” like CEO’s and CFO’s. Says he’ll keep an eye on things but not daily duty in the office.
Well, he has his views. And, thank God, the rest of us have ours. In fact, there’s an outside chance his run to November won’t reach the finish line. The factors that could save him - make him a viable candidate if that’s possible - just aren’t there and don’t seem to be coming.
What he needs most is a team of specialists - speech writers, fund raisers, advance teams, media spokesmen, ad buyers, state campaign teams, precinct workers and local phone banks, logistics people, experienced - and trusted - advisors on all the important issues he needs to know. At least, know more than he does.
Problem is, those people aren’t swamping him with job applications. Especially the political professional types who don’t like looking foolish when the boss double crosses them in public - and the knowledgeable advisors who don’t like having their expertise given, then ignored.
Trump’s current list of “advisors” could be seated around my dining room table. His spokesmen include family members. Maybe most damaging of all, the National Republican Party has not yet stepped up with the important national resources - if it still has any. And Trump’s fund-raising efforts are largely confined to repaying himself for the millions he “loaned” his campaign. Anyone who seriously thought he was going to bankroll his run - as he has promised so many times - has little grasp on reality.
Then, there are the surrogates. The other prominent - mostly Republican - figures he needs to stump their own states and the hinterlands spreading his “message.” Whatever the hell that is. They aren’t leaping at the opportunity. Maybe that’s because (a) they can’t see themselves saying or endorsing the things he says and does and (b) they watched the only congressional candidate Trump endorsed - an incumbent - go down in flames last week. Get too close to the fire and a political career could become a pile of ashes.
Then there’s the terrible - and possibly career-ending - short list of politicians who’ve already endorsed. At least three have now “un-indorsed.” Mitch McConnell has tiptoed around doing as much. And poor Paul Ryan - the GOP’s “great white hope” - has roundly condemned Trump for his racist, bigoted mouthings while still “supporting” him to be commander-in-chief with his erratic finger on the nuclear trigger. Ryan will likely survive his idiotic move - though he, too, may un-indorse. But the dozens of idiots he’s riding herd on in the House will see fresh blood and a sign Ryan is damaged goods. (ED NOTE: First time I’ve agreed with them.)
Trump’s victory speech last week also contained some hints. Rather than using a large, public location to reach out to the masses, his toned-down, obviously non-Trump script - was badly read off teleprompters in a small meeting room at one of his private country clubs to a small, invited audience. A carefully controlled environment for a carefully controlled crowd. But, even then, he couldn’t help deviating to throw in some red meat comments and a couple of zingers. So much for the “pro advisors” who’ve told him to “tone it down.” Ain’t gonna happen.
Before the national GOP convention, Trump will have insulted something near and dear to just about every American. He’s already started. And he’s demanding his nomination - and his acceptance speech - be held in a “large sports arena” and not the Republican convention site. He’s also told several reporters - hence their media employers - they will “not be allowed” to attend to cover either event.
Then there’s this. What does Donnie do with his real estate and investment empire? A billion - 5 billion - 10 billion. Whatever. He can’t stay in control. He’s got to put everything - ALL of it - into some sort of blind trust. Which he can’t control or even check on from time to time. Who’ll take over? His son? A wife? Attorneys? Some phony board of directors that doesn’t exist or, if it did, couldn’t make a decision without him? Trump doesn’t turn loose of control. Of anything! This could be the “make-or-break.”
Bottom line: Trump seems destined to fail either at his own hand or for lack of a reality-based, professional, national support system. The “cat’s” further out on that limb than he ever thought he would be. And the fire department is not coming to his rescue.
But - Clinton is no sure thing. The entry of former governors Johnson and Weld as Libertarians could well take 15-20% of the November vote. Maybe more. Depends on who shows up to vote and who stays home. And there’ll be some others emerging from the nutball woodwork to siphon off some more numbers. Add the fact we have no idea - at this point - what the Sanders effect will be. Will he renew his donkey credentials, get behind the Clinton bandwagon and push? Or will he go back to Burlington and sit it out?
No, friends, we’re a long way from the finish line and the imponderables are many. Except one. The Donald will not be getting the keys to the Oval Office. Whether by his own hand. Or yours and mine.