Right Now, Trump’s In The Spotlight. Keep Him There.
Paul Manafort said that. And this year, even though Trump’s not running, his plan was to personally focus a glaring spotlight on Democrats in the final days before election day. This election was to be about caravans and Kavanaugh. How “Medicare for all” will somehow destroy everybody’s medical care, and the “party of crime”.
So no wonder Trump lamented the pipe bombs that kept arriving at the doors of his political opponents are messing everything up for him:
And then came horrific attacks near Louisville, Kentucky and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Where shooters apparently targeted and killed multiple people based on race and religion. The gunman who killed 11 people in Pittsburgh may have targeted a Synagogue because of a conspiracy theory involving Jews supporting the caravan of migrants from Central America that Trump has been portraying as just short of an invading army. We’re not saying the President’s responsible for the attack. Just that if the President’s going to stand in front of crowds of people as he’s been, and promise he will do “everything in my power” to prevent politically-motivated violence, he’s not doing everything in his power if he continues to insist on whipping his supporters into a frenzy with a combination of exaggeration and outright lies, even if he thinks that’s essential to winning.
The funerals for the Pittsburgh shooting victims will be tomorrow.
But toning it down is not something he’s willing to do much, and he’s said as much. Here’s a clip in which he suggests he could “tone it up” because the media is being “unbelievably unfair” to him. (We should point out this is before the Synagogue shooting, but he’s expressed similar sentiments since then):
And it’s why when the President says something like this:
We can’t say that’s great, that’s leadership, because then he Tweets something like this, where he abdicates responsibility:
Which is why he has to be in the spotlight now. Constantly.
And yes, we understand the danger in that too. Part of why Trump does what he does is to keep Liberals enraged if not apoplectic, because that’s the raw meat on which his fans feed. But we can worry later about how much coverage of the President is too little/too much/just right.
If you’ve been reading The Chaos Report for a while, you’ll know we’ve been referring to the quote at the top since long before Trump became President. And even though it came from a now-indicted felon, that doesn’t mean Paul Manafort was not politically savvy.
It was Hillary Clinton who ended up in the spotlight come election day 2016, because of the revelation from then FBI Director James Comey of a crop of “new emails” less than 2 weeks before the election. And that quickly spun the spotlight off of Trump, who’d been in it — and temporarily lost some support — because of his “pussy grabbing” comments.
Why is that important now? Because Trump’s is in the middle of a crazy grueling schedule of rallies and public appearances. (And he’s considering adding even more). Which is a story in itself. To what purpose? Trump’s decided that he’s the master messenger (well, he is), and can get his people more excited about voting for local candidates than any local candidate can on their own. You can see that at the rallies when he appears visibly agitated if the actual candidate running for office in that particular state or district says more than a couple of words to the audience when he or she is introduced by Trump. And he praises those candidates who keep it brief. (But since they’re all politicians, not many of them do).
And Trump’s stamina may help pull some of those candidates through. There’s still a little over a week left before election day. A lot can happen and no doubt it will. Trump will almost for sure quickly return to full-throated attacks on his opponents and lies about what they plan to do, as well as exaggerating his own record (and suddenly neglecting to mention the stock market, which in a span of a couple of weeks has given up all its gains for the year). Even the Senate Majority Whip this weekend got nervous and flailingly scrambled to put some focus back on Pelosi.
But Trump at his rallies was a little more reserved, reading from prompter a lot more, and even feeling he needed to justify his decision not to cancel a couple of events in Illinois and Indiana right after the Pittsburgh shooting. He explained his insistence on turning up by pointing out how the New York Stock Exchange opened the day after 9/11 (it didn’t), and how George Steinbrenner got his New York Yankees immediately back on the field (that didn’t happen either).