If someone had given me the short odds a year ago that Donald Trump would be 14 points behind Joe Biden in a national poll, I would have slapped down a couple of Jacksons on that one right away. It just isn’t possible that Trump-o could have fallen so far, so fast.
But before we all start thinking about how nice it’s going to be when Trump’s not around, let me just throw out a cautionary note because I’m not sure we can afford to start celebrating his political demise.
If Trump has come up with a new style of campaigning and governing, it’s because he is totally different from every other individual who holds elective office, namely, he refuses to be risk-averse to the slightest degree. He not only doesn’t care what he says, but when he’s criticized for something he said that is totally and completely inappropriate or dumb, he repeats it in a more aggressive and stupid way.
This behavior upset Hillary’s campaign apple-cart again and again. No matter how she and her enormous collection of staff, consultants, dear friends, policy wonks and voting-data analysts tried to figure out how she should respond to a narrative from Trump which always seemed to go beyond what was considered the most extreme thing he might say. The moment she finally and painfully crafted a message, he would fire back with something even more extreme. How can he tell so many lies? It’s a constant refrain which I hear from the liberal media every day. As if there might actually be a limit to how many lies and exaggerations Trump can spew forth. In fact, there was no limit then and there’s no limit now.
Remember the night the Access Hollywood tape came out and everyone, including Melania Trump was saying that his campaign had finally crashed and burned? It took Trump two days to issue a meek apology for his ‘locker-room’ talk. Meanwhile, it took Hillary six months to apologize for the email server in her home and I lost track of how many meetings were held to try and figure out what she should say. And while Hillary dithered and came up with one lame excuse after another, Trump was leading the cheers of ‘lock her up’ and ‘crooked Hillary’ at his Nuremburg rallies day after day.
When Trump went on Sean Hannity’s show the other night and threw a snarky comment out about how Biden was hiding in his basement and afraid to come out and fight, of course what he said wasn’t true. But if this is the biggest lie that Trump can throw at Biden, it’s no wonder he’s 14 points down in the national polls.
What Trump needs to figure out is something to say that will somehow force Biden to defend himself and respond. Then Trump can up the ante, say something even more crazy and I guarantee you his poll numbers will improve. Let’s just hope that Biden understands that getting into an argument with someone who will say anything, no matter how crazy it sounds, is to get into a scrap that can’t be won.
The first time Lyndon Johnson ran for Congress back in 1936, he found himself behind his opponent just several weeks before the election was scheduled to take place.
“We gotta come up wit’ sumpin’ big,” Lyndon’s good friend and campaign manager told him.
Lyndon frowned, thought for a minute, then brightened and said, “Let’s spread the rumor that he fucks pigs.”
“Hell Lyndon,” said another friend, “you know that’s not true.”
“Yea,” Lyndon answered, “but we’ll get him to deny it.” LBJ was elected to Congress and never looked back.
I guarantee you that between now and November 3rd, Trump will try to get Biden to deny that he didn’t do something that is completely crazy and unlike anything Biden has ever done. Because that’s what you do if you’re not worried in the slightest that anything you say might be considered something that should never be said.
Remember all those ‘shithole’ countries? I rest my case.