With her face in the laptop, my wife says, “Oh look, I’ve got an email from Tim Kaine.”
“That’s nice, what’s he have to say?”
“He says I should send Hillary’s campaign $5, $10, $25, whatever we can afford or Trump will be our next president.”
“If they can’t beat that boob without your $5, they are guilty of campaign malpractice,” I opine, in part to forestall a blizzard of dunning emails but also because it is true.
Yes, Hillary is the second most unpopular person to run for president in the history of polling, but Trump is number one.
According to recent reports he is sinking like a stone, trailing nationwide by 6 points or more, but even more ominously beginning to look like badly burnt toast in essential swing states. Behind by double digits in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, and by 5 or more in North Carolina, Florida and even in possible trouble in GOP strongholds like Utah, Georgia and Iowa.
The party rats are deserting the sinking ship in droves. People who found him refreshing in the primaries are beginning to realize he hasn’t got what it takes to compete now that he’s in the big leagues. The party itself is talking about shifting resources from the presidential race in order to save House and Senate seats likely to be dragged down in the vortex.
The chatter is about what went wrong and centers on character. Trump has no attention span. Trump thinks if people show up and cheer he must be winning, and to get them to cheer he’ll say anything. But the people who show up are not sufficiently numerous to win a general election. He has been too cheap or arrogant to fund or staff a professional ground campaign, message apparatus or oppo research arm.
Trump is out of touch with reality. He lives in his own Tower of Bubble. He can’t take advice from anyone. He can’t stick to a script. He can’t control his tongue or temper. He can’t believe he could be that most awful word in he English language — a loser. He can’t repair problems because he can’t own them. He can only blame others. The election is rigged. The crooked press is helping crooked Hillary.
I think the answer is really simpler than either math, message, or competence. It is encapsulated in this dialogue from “Red Dragon,” in which FBI agent Will Graham visits the serial killer/cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the prison to which Graham sent him, hoping to gain insight into a new killer.
Lecter wonders why Graham thinks he needs any help.
“You think you are smarter than I am, since it was you who caught me.”
“No I know I’m not smarter than you.”
“Then how did you catch me?”