Former President Donald Trump remains the dominant Republican frontrunner in critical states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, while Joe Biden’s campaign is seriously jeopardized. Donald Trump’s, at least not in the Republican primary, is not.
You’d think that the current president’s legislative accomplishments would give him an advantage, but that’s not happening–especially when compared to the fact that he turns 81 next week.
You’d think that with four criminal indictments and a civil fraud prosecution, the former president’s campaign would be in trouble. Any other politician would be driven out of office by a single charge. However, the avalanche of allegations has aided Trump, bolstering his reputation among people who believe he is the object of deep-state persecution.
For some reason, Biden isn’t getting credit for advancing laws ranging from infrastructure to climate change (although award announcements make local headlines). Even though the monthly rate announced yesterday, 3.2 percent, was lower than October’s 3.7 percent rise, inflation remains a critical widespread concern.
Trump, 77, has been putting gag restrictions to the test in the federal case regarding Jan. 6 and the civil fraud lawsuit brought by the state attorney general in New York. He reposted a follower’s dream on Truth Social: “MY FANTASY: I WOULD LIKE TO SEE LITITIA [sic] JAMES AND JUDGE ENGORON PLACED UNDER CITIZENS ARREST FOR BLATANT ELECTION INTERFERENCE AND HARASSMENT.”
That is something that his admirers adore.
In the frenzy that erupted after polls showed Trump beating Biden in crucial swing states, some in the media are advising the president on how to save his floundering campaign.
According to Politico columnist Jonathan Martin, Biden is “in trouble,” and “denying his difficulties and complaining about press coverage may be therapeutic, but it doesn’t make him any more likely to defeat Trump once more…Biden, who was the oldest president in history when he took the oath, will be unable to rule and campaign in the manner of prior occupants. He simply lacks the necessary skills.”
Martin suggests recalling Rahm Emanuel from his post in Tokyo to oversee the campaign and luring Ron Klain back. Convince Joe Manchin and Liz Cheney not to run as a third party. Republicans should be attacked more fiercely. Delegate the conflict by selecting Bill and Hillary Clinton as Middle East special envoys.
“Calling David Axelrod a prick,’ as a person who has heard Biden use the word says he does in private, is not a strategy to win 270 electoral votes,” the essay argues after the president’s former Obama colleague David Axelrod advised he consider dropping out.
The most pressing advice for Democrats was for him to “throw ‘Bidenomics’ in the trash.” Trying to persuade voters to believe what they do not think is foolish. Putting your name to that method is borderline masochistic.”
I don’t think Biden should spend a lot of political resources slamming Trump right now. The media is already doing the bulk of the work.
Since it became clear that Trump could easily win a second term, several pieces in the Washington Post and New York Times have warned of all the dreadful things he might do, such as using the Insurrection Act to quell domestic dissent. While Trump’s two senior campaign advisers have dismissed the stories as “speculation,” the sources indicate that the 45th president has been discussing such ideas with others but has not made any final choices.
Furthermore, the Trump administration cooperated with a lengthy Times report on his planned crackdown on illegal immigration, including the deportation of millions, by making former official and current adviser Stephen Miller available for on-the-record details.
At the same time, Trump states his intentions, telling Univision that after what has been done to him, he will seek indictments of his political opponents.
And Trump feeds his supporters vast slabs of red meat. On Saturday, he said on Facebook: “In honor of our great Veterans on Veteran’s Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and
Radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.”
This provoked outrage and headlines like this one in Forbes: “Trump Compares Political Foes To ‘Vermin’ On Veterans Day—Echoing Nazi Propaganda.” But Trump understands that criticizing him for using fiery language only serves to amplify his message.
Predicting a likely repeat is difficult given the campaign’s strengths and faults.