August 16, 2020


The Most Tremendous Reelection Campaign in American History Ever:  Inside the chaotic, desperate, last-minute Trump 2020 reboot. (Olivia Nuzzi, 8/16/20, NY Mag)

For the two and a half years that he was in charge, a Brad Parscale sighting was always news at Trump campaign headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia. Parscale is six-foot-eight with a dagger of a beard and thorns for ears that give his head the shape of a spiked club, like a medieval morning star. So you can't really miss him. But "there were times Brad might not be there for two to three weeks," one campaign official told me. "If he wasn't meeting with the president or going on the road, you weren't seeing him. He was only around for the high-profile, celebrity things."

"He was never there," a senior White House official said. "He'd make phone calls from his house in Florida and brag that he was by the pool. And because he was never there, at the campaign office, people would leave at four o'clock in the afternoon." (Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, told me, "I've never FaceTimed Brad, so I cannot speak to what he is or is not doing while I'm on the phone with him.")

It was a sign of impending doom, to some, when earlier this summer Parscale began coming in more often just as the target on his back swelled to carnival proportions. The polls? Trump trailed his almost-invisible challenger by double digits nationally and by a considerable margin in most battleground states. The messaging? Well, you try to "spin" six months in which 160,000 Americans died and at least 5 million more were infected by a virus you first said wouldn't be much to worry about. Six months in which your best case for reelection -- the greatest economy in the world -- was destroyed too. The offense? Trump couldn't even settle on a nickname for Joe Biden. Was he "Sleepy Joe," or "Creepy Joe," or "Beijing Biden"? That tiny Tulsa rally Parscale had organized -- which followed weeks of massive hype -- preceded a spike in coronavirus infections in the city that, local officials said, was probably born of the event, where the guest list included Herman Cain, who later died. Meanwhile, nationwide, there was civil unrest that Trump, whose political career had begun with a media tour to promote a racist conspiracy theory called birtherism, was unfit to handle. Yet there was an attitude, naïve and cocky, that led Parscale to compare the campaign to the Death Star...

The reboot being to go more racist.

Posted by at August 16, 2020 6:04 PM