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👑 Portrait of a President

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#421

Sunday night - 6.28.20 :roller_coaster:

https://twitter.com/jonfavs/status/1277427480962326528?s=19


(David Bythewood) #422

With everything happening, THIS is Trump’s big concern:

Trump has recently been asking advisers whether he should stick with his current nickname for Biden — “Sleepy Joe” — or try to coin another moniker, such as “Swampy Joe” or “Creepy Joe.” The president is not convinced that “Sleepy Joe” is particularly damaging, and some of his advisers agree and have urged him to stop using the nickname. In a tweet on Sunday, Trump tried out yet another variant: “Corrupt Joe.”

Some Trump allies push for campaign shake-up to revive president’s imperiled reelection bid

President Trump and his campaign team are grappling with how to resuscitate his imperiled reelection effort amid a wave of polling that shows him badly trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and losing traction even among core constituencies.

Some Trump advisers and allies are privately pushing for sweeping changes to the campaign, including the idea of a major staff shake-up and trying to convince the president to be more disciplined in his message and behavior.

But so far, the campaign has settled only on incremental changes — such as hiring and elevating a handful of operatives who worked on Trump’s upset victory in 2016 — and has yet to settle on a clear message for his reelection. Campaign officials and other advisers are also still struggling with how to best focus their attacks on Biden, which so far have been scattershot and have failed to curb his rise among voters.

And then there’s Trump himself, who has derailed his team’s desired themes on an almost daily basis — deploying racist rhetoric and mounting incendiary attacks on critics amid a surging coronavirus pandemic, an economic crisis and roiling protests over police brutality.

Numerous national polls show Trump losing significant ground with seniors and among white voters, including those with and without four-year college degrees.

He has also slipped among white evangelical voters. According to new New York Times/Siena College polls, Trump is at least slightly behind Biden in six states that he won in 2016 and are pivotal to his reelection path — including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where he trails by double digits.

“You can’t win with these numbers. They’re atrocious numbers,” said Edward J. Rollins, co-chairman of the pro-Trump super PAC Great America and the former campaign manager for Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign.

“The president must straighten his campaign out and convey to the American people that he can move forward and lead,” Rollins said. “He’s got to go out and add 10 points pretty quick. If he can do that, he’ll win. If not, Biden is sitting there as the alternative.”

Trump’s advisers and allies have grown frustrated with some of the president’s incendiary and divisive behavior and comments in recent weeks and are dismayed by the polls, including some of their internal surveys that also show him losing to Biden. The president also came under fire for a June 20 rally in Tulsa that failed to attract much of a crowd even as the campaign downplayed coronavirus distancing guidelines.

But many Trump allies remain deeply skeptical of the public polling — pointing to 2016 polls in key states that underestimated Trump’s support — and say the internal polling and modeling they’re sharing with the president is less grim than the public surveys. Multiple campaign and Republican officials also asserted that they have seen no serious erosion in Trump’s political base.

“Over the past four months, the president’s support among Republican voters has ranged between 90 and 94 percent consistently,” said Tony Fabrizio, the campaign’s chief pollster, referring to the campaign’s internal polls. “As of our most recent polling, it stands at 94 percent.”

Fabrizio added that any erosion is among independent voters, who always swing back and forth between the two candidates.

Four recent national public polls show between 87 percent and 91 percent of Republicans approving of Trump.

Trump has polled advisers on whether he should make changes to the campaign, and several White House and campaign officials said there were ongoing discussions on how to improve the president’s political standing.

Trump has responded to the turmoil by emphasizing his nativist and base instincts, attempting to rally his core supporters through controversial comments and tweets.

The latest example came Sunday, when Trump retweeted a video that included a supporter proclaiming “white power” in response to counterprotesters and calling his backers in the Florida retirement community where the demonstration occurred “great people.” Trump later deleted the tweet, and a White House spokesman said the president had not heard the “white power” shout.

He has twice referred to the deadly coronavirus, which originated in China, derisively as the “kung flu.” In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Monday, he baselessly accused former president Barack Obama of “treason.” And he has dismissed the racial justice protesters — who took to the streets after the killing of George Floyd in police custody — as “hoodlums,” “thugs” and even “terrorists,” promising “retribution” in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Thursday night.

Advisers, meanwhile, are frustrated with the president’s tendency to portray himself as the victim and have urged him to stop the public displays of self-pity.

“If the election was today, we are in big trouble,” according to one person close to Trump, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment. “Thankfully, it is not.”

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie ® warned on ABC News’s “This Week” on Sunday that if Trump “doesn’t change course both in terms of the substance of what he’s discussing and the way that he approaches the American people, then he will lose.”

The trend is obvious,” Christie said. “The trend is moving towards Joe Biden when Joe Biden hasn’t said a word. Joe Biden’s hiding in the basement and not saying anything. No discredit to the vice president — if you’re winning without doing anything, why do anything.”

An urgent task for Trump and his team, advisers say, is to find a way to negatively define Biden — transforming the election into a choice between the two men, rather than a referendum on the president.

Trump has recently been asking advisers whether he should stick with his current nickname for Biden — “Sleepy Joe” — or try to coin another moniker, such as “Swampy Joe” or “Creepy Joe.” The president is not convinced that “Sleepy Joe” is particularly damaging, and some of his advisers agree and have urged him to stop using the nickname. In a tweet on Sunday, Trump tried out yet another variant: “Corrupt Joe.”

Some advisers are also concerned that the campaign’s attacks on Biden’s mental acuity might alienate older voters, and that they also inadvertently set a low bar for gauging Biden’s performance.

Trump’s team has deployed the hashtag #HidenBiden, intended to highlight that it’s been nearly three months since Biden has held a regular news conference and pressure him into more public appearances. In addition, the campaign plans to deploy a theme casting Trump as a builder — a former real estate developer who created jobs and a strong economy before the coronavirus pandemic and who has pushed ahead with construction of a new wall at the southern border.

“I think when it comes down to a binary choice, and they look at Biden, the natural question is going to be: How can you run as a change agent and a change candidate when you spent 50 years in Washington?” said Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee.

Trump’s team had initially fashioned much of the campaign around the strong economy but now is pushing a “renew, restore, rebuild” theme, hoping to stress that Trump is best positioned to return the country to economic prosperity.

The campaign has undergone a series of staff changes in recent weeks intended at righting the ship, including the addition of Jason Miller, a former senior adviser on the 2016 campaign who has a good relationship with Trump.

A comparison of recent national polls to 2016 exit polls and a Pew survey of confirmed voters finds Trump has lost significant ground among whites. He fares slightly better among nonwhites than he did four years ago, though not enough to counterbalance these other losses.

Trump won whites by an average of 18 points across two surveys of 2016 voters; surveys since late May averaged by The Washington Post show him leading by five percentage points. Among whites without college degrees, Trump won by 37 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016, but recent polls show him dropping 15 points, to a 22-point advantage over Biden. And though Trump won seniors by eight points in 2016, he trails Biden by five points on average in recent national polls.

Juan Peñalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said seniors say they are worried about the economy and angry about the coronavirus response. “They are angry because they feel as if they are prisoners in their own home and they can’t see their grandchildren,” Peñalosa said. “And they blame Trump for this.”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale rejected the validity of public polling and blamed the media for many of the president’s woes. “We know we are in solid shape in all of our key states, and no amount of fake, narrative-setting media polls can ever change that,” Parscale said in an email.

A senior White House official said that although Biden outraised Trump for the first time in May, the Trump campaign still outmatches Biden with $265 million cash on hand.

White House and campaign advisers are homing in on Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina as states where they must win — saying that they are in good shape in Ohio and that Michigan and Pennsylvania will be far more difficult this time. In a clear sign of worry, the campaign has purchased ad time in Georgia, a longtime GOP stronghold.

Some of the president’s advisers have told him that his hard-edge messaging has hurt him in recent weeks, showing him polling from swing states where he is trailing. And they have urged him to a run a general election strategy that appeals to a broader swath of voters, rather than a primary strategy that caters to his already energized base, said one person familiar with the encouragement.

Two people who spoke with Trump this week said he is arguing that groups defacing and tearing down monuments and statues will ultimately benefit him politically because the public will appreciate his harsh stance and “law and order” message. The president has also told his political advisers that there is more enthusiasm for him than Biden, and he doesn’t believe the polls, saying “10 points” should be added to his numbers.

“The campaign is hyper-focused on playing to the base — I think it’s a mistake,” said Chris Ruddy, chief executive of the conservative Newsmax Media and a longtime Trump confidant. “Politics are about addition, not subtraction. In this environment, the president has to do a lot of plus plus plus addition signs right now with every group that he possibly can.”

With Trump struggling to cope with numerous crises, many in both parties say his standard playbook may not work as it did in 2016.

“In conservative places like Ohio, you really wonder if what Trump is selling will work again,” said former Ohio governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat. ­“NASCAR is banning the Confederate flag at races. Military leaders are speaking out against him. If the NFL starts again, you’ll see a lot of people kneeling. This is not the same country that it was in 2016.”

Speaking Thursday in Pennsylvania, Biden similarly took aim at Trump’s seeming inability to rise to the moment, saying the president is handling the coronavirus “like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him.”

“All his whining and self-pity,” Biden said. “This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it, to lead.”


#423

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1277409058736275456?s=19


(David Bythewood) #424

https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1276700527041052676?s=20


(Matt Kiser) #425

Couple of “portraits” I’ve been meaning to add:


Trump admits it: He's losing - POLITICO

The president has privately come to that grim realization in recent days, multiple people close to him told POLITICO, amid a mountain of bad polling and warnings from some of his staunchest allies that he’s on course to be a one-term president.

Trump has endured what aides describe as the worst stretch of his presidency, marred by widespread criticism over his response to the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide racial unrest. His rally in Oklahoma last weekend, his first since March, turned out to be an embarrassment when he failed to fill the arena.


Trump Retreats to His Hannity Bunker | The New Yorker

Did the picture mean that Trump knows what trouble he’s in? Was it a sign that he realizes his act is wearing thin, that his flimflammery might no longer be working? Is it possible that he might be a bit more reality-based than his ridiculous all-caps tweets and absurdist public discourse suggest? Several times in his conversation with Hannity on Thursday, Trump seemed to acknowledge that Biden might be beating him. “It’s so crazy, what’s happening,” the President said, at one point. Referring to Biden, he added, “Here’s a guy, doesn’t talk. Nobody hears him. Whenever he does talk, he can’t put two sentences together. I don’t want to be nice or un-nice. O.K.? But, I mean, the man can’t speak. And he’s going to be your President because some people don’t love me, maybe.”


The Trump Referendum - WSJ

But he wasted his chance to show leadership by turning his daily pandemic pressers into brawls with the bear-baiting press and any politician who didn’t praise him to the skies. Lately he has all but given up even talking about the pandemic when he might offer realism and hope about the road ahead even as the country reopens. His default now is defensive self-congratulation.


#426

We have now reached a tipping point and open public consensus with all those swirling inner-circle people, listed below confirming that T poses a national security risk, by his constant unpreparedness, his brazen tactics (misogynistic bullying ways with May and Merkel) and preferential to the autocrats/dictators.

It is near impossible for the R’s who enable and dot his i’s not to see that something is severely wrong. Finally some R senators are saying something probably for the benefit of CYA…but what is going to happen with existing threats that go unheeded?

They know, and T knows he’s going to lose. Why can’t they just pull a Barry Goldwater and say “T your time is up…?” #WishfulStrategizing

In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials – including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff – that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.

The calls caused former top Trump deputies – including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials – to conclude that the President was often “delusional,” as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.

These officials’ concerns about the calls, and particularly Trump’s deference to Putin, take on new resonance with reports the President may have learned in March that Russia had offered the Taliban bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan – and yet took no action. CNN’s sources said there were calls between Putin and Trump about Trump’s desire to end the American military presence in Afghanistan but they mentioned no discussion of the supposed Taliban bounties.

By far the greatest number of Trump’s telephone discussions with an individual head of state were with Erdogan, who sometimes phoned the White House at least twice a week and was put through directly to the President on standing orders from Trump, according to the sources. Meanwhile, the President regularly bullied and demeaned the leaders of America’s principal allies, especially two women: telling Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom she was weak and lacked courage; and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was "stupid."

Trump incessantly boasted to his fellow heads of state, including Saudi Arabia’s autocratic royal heir Mohammed bin Salman and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, about his own wealth, genius, “great” accomplishments as President, and the “idiocy” of his Oval Office predecessors, according to the sources.

In his conversations with both Putin and Erdogan, Trump took special delight in trashing former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and suggested that dealing directly with him – Trump – would be far more fruitful than during previous administrations. “They didn’t know BS,” he said of Bush and Obama – one of several derisive tropes the sources said he favored when discussing his predecessors with the Turkish and Russian leaders.


#427

All these opinions, pile-up of character flaws and stupefying facts do lead us to conclude that T is unfit for the office.

Now what.

In short, Trump has behaved in precisely the way his fiercest critics foresaw. They were not clairvoyant. Free from the compulsion of slavish loyalty and partisan hackery, they simply saw Trump for what he is and understood the ramifications of a president this hobbled. By contrast, Trumpers cared too little about character, fitness and simply decency.

The sycophants who continue to rationalize his conduct got practically nothing from the Faustian bargain. His Supreme Court justices did not overturn abortion precedent, undo protections for the “dreamers” or deny LGBTQ Americans freedom from discrimination. The tax cuts for the rich never delivered on promises of sustained prosperity (and surely did not pay for themselves). The price they (and we) paid was intolerable. We have suffered from a pandemic that has killed more than 124,000 Americans, an economy akin to the Great Depression, a Russian patsy masquerading as a friend of the troops, a self-dealer who corruptly promoted his own holdings as president and a racist entirely out of step with a country yearning for racial justice.

We dare not repeat the error of 2016. We know — because we know Trump — a second term would be equally if not more calamitous than the first. Character this twisted is destiny. Unfitness this severe is irreparable.


#428

Struts his stuff…

Again, now what?

https://twitter.com/DavidCornDC/status/1277994930426777606?s=19

https://twitter.com/SpiroAgnewGhost/status/1277995028833435650?s=19


(David Bythewood) #429

image
https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1278514527345278976


#430

https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1278733220687872000?s=19


(David Bythewood) #431

Apparently this is the full quote, and it’s NOT any better:


#432

And as bits and pieces of Mary Trump’s book come out, just even from a press release, it looks pretty explosive…T 'n Co will try to spin it…bigly.

In upcoming book, the president’s niece says he practices ‘cheating as a way of life’

By Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News 3 hrs ago

New York Daily News logo In upcoming book, the president’s niece says he practices ‘cheating as a way of life’

A forthcoming book by President Donald Trump’s estranged niece describes him as a “toxic” bully who practices “cheating as a way of life,” values money above anything and belittles his own family members, according to a Monday press release.

In addition to those damning details, the press release from publisher Simon & Schuster says Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” will now be released July 14, two weeks earlier than planned — even though the president’s brother is trying to block the tell-all in court.

The publisher said it’s moving up the release date due to “high demand and extraordinary interest.”

“(It) is the story of the most visible and powerful family in the world. And I am the only Trump who is willing to tell it,” Mary Trump, 55, writes in an excerpt of the book’s prologue included in Monday’s release.

Having spent much time at the sprawling Queens home where President Trump and his siblings grew up, Mary Trump speaks from firsthand experience as she delves into embarrassing accounts about the leader of the free world, the press release states.

She recounts the “strange and harmful relationship” between her uncle and her father, Fred Trump Jr., who died young after a long battle with alcoholism, according to Simon & Schuster.

She also recalls the “appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s” in the late 1990s, the publisher says.

Other “explosive” portions of the book include vivid descriptions of the “twisted” values and behaviors Trump picked up as a young man, including:

— “Financial worth is the same as self-worth; humans are only valued in monetary terms.”

— “A ‘killer’ instinct is revered, while qualities like empathy, kindness and expertise are punished.”

— “Taking responsibility for your failures is discouraged.”

“Cheating as a way of life.

Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist who has severed nearly all ties with her family, draws a parallel between the president’s uncharismatic character traits and his upbringing.

Love meant nothing to Fred; he expected obedience, that was all,” she writes in another excerpt, referring to the president’s late father. “Over time, Donald became afraid that asking for comfort or attention would provoke his father’s anger or indifference when Donald was most vulnerable. … Donald suffered deprivations that would scar him for life.”

Mary Trump’s soon-to-be-released book has drawn a lawsuit from the president’s family.

Filed by Robert Trump, the president’s younger brother, the lawsuit charges that the book should never see the light of day because it allegedly violates a nondisclosure agreement Mary Trump signed in 2001 after the family divvied up the estate of family patriarch Fred Trump Sr.

The legal action remains pending in Dutchess County Supreme Court in New York.

However, the presiding judge has signaled that, even if Robert Trump’s hush agreement argument holds water, it could be hard to block the book’s release, since the publisher has already circulated copies.

A federal judge in Washington recently declined to block the publication of former Trump national security adviser John Bolton’s book because hundreds of thousands of copies were already in circulation.

Charles Harder, Robert Trump’s lawyer, did not return a request for comment.

Trump, who did not appear in public Monday, maintains his niece can’t publish because of the decades-old nondisclosure agreement, recently telling news outlet Axios, “she’s not allowed to write a book.”

Chris Bastardi, a spokesman for Mary Trump, questioned why the Trump family continues to fight if the president has nothing to hide.

The act by a sitting president to muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors which have already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic,” Bastardi said. “If Mary cannot comment, one can only help but wonder: What is Donald Trump so afraid of?”

and just look at Drudge Reports headlines…

http://www.drudgereport.com/


(David Bythewood) #433


https://twitter.com/DemWrite/status/1281582481238396929

From Sarah Cooper:
How to Cognitive.


https://twitter.com/sarahcpr/status/1281631729409822722?s=20