According to a report from the New York Times, aides to Donald Trump are getting a jump on looking for new jobs with an eye on the fact that the president is doing nothing to stop his slide in the polls in the waning days of his re-election campaign.
With just over fifteen days before voters who didn't take advantage of mail-in voting head to the polls, exasperated Trump campaign officials are admitting they can't rein in the president and get him back on message as he tours the country throwing red meat out to his base -- while ignoring the undecided voters he needs to win.
According to the Times' Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns, the campaign is putting on a brave face, however: "Away from their candidate and the television cameras, some of Mr. Trump’s aides are quietly conceding just how dire his political predicament appears to be, and his inner circle has returned to a state of recriminations and backbiting."
Some of the blame, officials claim, can be laid at the feet of the Trump himself.
"Among some of Mr. Trump’s lieutenants, there is an attitude of grit mixed with resignation: a sense that the best they can do for the final stretch is to keep the president occupied, happy and off Twitter as much as possible, rather than producing a major shift in strategy," the Times reports. "Instead of a delivering a focused closing message aimed at changing people’s perceptions about his handling of the coronavirus, or making a case for why he can revive the economy better than Mr. Biden can, Mr. Trump is spending the remaining days on a familiar mix of personal grievances, attacks on his opponents and obfuscations."
According to Iowa Republican strategist David Kochel, “A lot of Republican consultants are frustrated because we want the president’s campaign to be laser-focused on the economy. Their best message is: Trump built a great economy” until COVID-19 disrupted it.
With that in mind, aides to the president are looking at defeat on November 3rd and making plans for their own futures, with the Times reporting, "Some midlevel aides on the Trump campaign have even begun inquiring about employment on Capitol Hill after the election, apparently under the assumption that there will not be a second Trump administration for them to serve in."
The report also notes that Trump 2020 campaign officials feel the president only has one more chance, the next debate, to change their fortunes -- but even with that they are hindered.
"Mr. Trump’s advisers are hopeful they can use the days through the next debate to change the trajectory of the race. The president is not likely to hold formal debate preparation sessions, in no small part because half of the people in his previous sessions, including Mr. Trump, contracted the coronavirus," the Times reports.
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