Do you think Donald Trump has given up?
It was a little strange to see him campaigning Wednesday in that critical swing state of … Washington, D.C.
“He’s coming to open a hotel that’s under budget and ahead of schedule,” campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, insisting it was all a part of the presidential sales pitch.
Blitzer noted mildly that the hotel had actually been open for some time.
“This is the grand official opening,” Conway insisted.
Aren’t you beginning to feel a little sympathy for Conway? Until recently she was just that terrible Trump talking head, but now she seems like a woman laboring valiantly under an impossible burden.
“Saturday Night Live” recently did a parody of her day off, in which Kellyanne eagerly tried to do yoga or cook dinner but kept getting dragged back to CNN to recalibrate some new awful tweet from her candidate. (“Of course Mr. Trump thinks that Mexicans can read, and actually what he wants them to read the most is Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails.”)
Conway herself once admitted that the campaign was behind but then had to spend days trying to pedal back from the obvious. In – yes! – another CNN interview, she said that she had reprimanded Trump for sounding as if he thought they were going to lose. And that Trump responded: “OK, honey, then we’ll win.” That was probably her best moment of the day, and it was an “OK, honey.”
Trump is doing more last-lap rallies than Clinton. He definitely wins the stamina competition, as long as the task at hand does not involve having to listen to anyone else or concentrate for more than about 30 seconds.
Still, his schedule does seem to have more and more to do with the businesses he’d have to resuscitate as a private citizen after Nov. 8. On Tuesday, he dragged reporters off to admire one of his golf courses in Florida and listen to the workers tell their boss how much they loved him.
“All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare,” Trump ad-libbed.
Well, Obamacare was the issue of the day. Except the workers in question had employer-covered health plans. Whoops. Somebody must have violated the 30-second rule on the flight in.
It’s still possible to get a drooping candidate exercised, as long as you stick to the personal. Witness Joe Biden’s recent comment that he’d like to take Trump “behind the gym if I were in high school.”
“Did you see where Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn?” Trump demanded, starting off with his signature inability to get any fact right, including the proposed location of the fight. “Me! He wants it, I’d love that! I’d love that! Mr. Tough Guy. You know, he’s Mr. Tough Guy. You know when he’s Mr. Tough Guy? When he’s standing behind a microphone by himself!”
OK, not the man you want negotiating an arms reduction treaty.
Do you think Clinton thinks she’s a shoo-in? Publicly, she’s not talking that way. And there’s no reason to get overconfident. Florida seems to be tightening. There’s no telling what might happen, given the fact that we live in a country where Trump is the Republican nominee for president.
But you’d definitely rather be the campaign with Barack and Michelle Obama rallying the troops than the one that has to rely on Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich. The men who give a whole new frightening image of the Three Amigos.
Of the trio, Newt is clearly the winner. Having come into the campaign as political wreckage, he’s the only one who doesn’t cause people to shake their heads and say, “My God, what happened to him?”
This week Newt was in the news once again when he got into a vigorous tussle with Megyn Kelly on Fox, about whether the media was devoting too much time to the Trump groping issue. Gingrich accused Kelly of being “fascinated with sex, and you don’t care about public policy.”
At the end Kelly suggested Gingrich “take your anger issues and spend some time working on them.” And the whole world cheered.
However, Newt did have a point. Speaking on behalf of the nation as a whole, I would say that yes, we are sort of fascinated with sex. Normally at this point in a presidential campaign we would also be spending a lot of time on policy. However, when one of the candidates has that 30-second problem, it’s hard to figure out what his side of the argument is.
The only issue we can really grapple with is whether a President Donald Trump might get peeved one day and drop a nuke on one of our trading partners.
If you have to ask the question, you’ve already got the answer.
On Wednesday, Trump congratulated Gingrich on his “amazing” performance. This was during the new, official ribbon-cutting at his D.C. hotel. Which he was doing not to prop up his flagging brand but just to remind people that he will run the country like his businesses. With lots of tax deductions and Chinese steel.