Just a couple of weeks ago this article appeared and got nowhere near the attention it merited. Stephanie Cegielski, communications director for the now defunct pro-Trump Make America Great Again PAC (are you seeing a pattern with the “defunct” part?) wrote an open letter in which she labeled the Trump campaign a con, a publicity stunt:
Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.
The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.
But something surprising and absolutely unexpected happened. Every other candidate misestimated the anger and outrage of the “silent majority” of Americans who are not a part of the liberal elite. So with each statement came a jump in the polls. Just when I thought we were finished, The Donald gained more popularity.
I don’t think even Trump thought he would get this far. And I don’t even know that he wanted to, which is perhaps the scariest prospect of all.
He certainly was never prepared or equipped to go all the way to the White House, but his ego has now taken over the driver’s seat, and nothing else matters. The Donald does not fail. The Donald does not have any weakness. The Donald is his own biggest enemy.
The letter really fills in the gaps of how the Donald Trump campaign works and you should read it in its entirety. Read the last graf, though, it is important. We’ll get to it later.
So, is there anything in this pull quote that seems at odds with what we’ve seen? No, there isn’t. In fact, it explains nearly every question that has been raised about the Trump campaign from Day One. Donald Trump hired a low-end wannabe operative, Corey Lewandowski, to run his campaign. He hired crew of similar zeroes to help him out. He built no field infrastructure — the man just appointed a state chair for California last week. He relies on public polling. His campaign strategy is nothing more that a bunch of high school pep rallies. He doesn’t bother to learn about anything, and, in all seriousness, there is really no evidence that Trump is actually mentally curious or even mentally awake rather than being very clever in a hunted animal kind of way. This is why is Virginia campaign chair doesn’t know that the delegates have already been picked. This is why he can’t fill delegate slots on ballots. This is why he was routed in in Colorado and Wyoming.
Now let’s move one step further to a GQ article titled Donald Trump Wants To Lose A Contested Convention. The author is a guy name Drew Magary, I can’t vouch for his political insight but when he wrote for Kissing Suzy Kolber he was one of the funniest guys ever.
Now here’s an obvious theory: Getting f****d at the convention is precisely what Trump wants.
You don’t need to be some insane truther to believe that Trump’s entire campaign was a publicity stunt that has spiraled out of control. One of his former strategists has said as much. That crummy ground game of his? Not only is it a sign of laziness (and Trump is very lazy), but it’s also a clear signal that Trump never expected to get this far and probably didn’t want to. Trump is a ribbon cutter. He shows up for the Grand Opening, and then never returns. That’s his deal. He doesn’t do details.
Of course, Trump can’t drop out of the race now. He’s come too far and built up a visibly insane following that is, frankly, too loyal. He can’t quit without pissing those yahoos off. Do you know what they’ll DO to Trump if he quits? They’ll take his f***ing scalp.
But if Trump loses at the convention? Oh, that’s perfect. Not only does chickens**t Trump get to slither out of the race, but he can spend the rest of his life bitching that he was “robbed” of the nomination while secretly relishing his getaway. Trump is always droning on and on about winning, but his obsession is merely with LOOKING like he’s a success and not actually BEING one. Winning is a branding exercise for him. If the Republican party pries the nomination out of his stubby, cocktail-frank fingers, he can say that he technically “won,” and then slip out the Quicken Loans Arena fire escape in disgust, leaving a mob of angry voters and tattered party platforms behind him.
What would he care? All that matters is that HE looks good. Whatever comes of that—whatever terrible consequence comes at the price of keeping up appearances—it won’t matter because he’ll just go f**k off to a golf course for the rest of his life. All of the anger he’s ginned up over the course of his campaign would be directed at party elders, with no danger of it ever reflecting back onto Trump himself. He could turn on the TV at Mar-A-Lago and squeal with delight at the chaos he’s caused, knowing it won’t ever seriously blow back on him. He won’t have to attend any more rallies. He won’t have to endure the humiliation of losing the general election to Hillary Clinton. He would be the only person to walk away from the rubble relatively unharmed.
Again, think about it. Why has Trump been harping on and on about the GOP “treating him fairly?” Why is Trump now delegitimizing the very process by which he will be nominated? Just this morning, during a 13 minute campaign ad call-in filibuster on Fox News he said this:
TRUMP: But it’s a rigged system. I see it. You know, I’m a smart guy (okay, I wet myself just a little bit), a business guy, and nobody ever really understood the system until I brought it out, and it’s a rigged system.
If the system is truly rigged, would a really smart “business guy” still be trying to win? Or looking to cut his losses?
Why has Trump, despite obvious deficiencies in his campaign, really made no changes other that bringing in Paul Manafort, who hasn’t done jack-sh** in GOP politics, other than cash random checks as an “adviser,” since 1980? He knows no more about how the 2016 GOP convention will be conducted or how state delegates are selected than anyone reading this post. Read Leon’s post from earlier this evening again. Would someone who was trying to win toss away 34 delegates that could put him over the 1237 threshold just to get his followers to make death threats to GOP delegates? Why would he disband his super PAC other than to avoid litigation over raising money for a campaign he had no intention of running?
I think Drew has it exactly right. Trump knows he can’t reach 1237 delegates. He may have even decided he doesn’t really want to because if he wins the nomination he will have to compete in a tough presidential campaign in which the odds of him winning approach zero. That would make him a LOSER. That would permanently attach his name to an electoral blowout that would make people forget George McGovern, Walter Mondale, 1994, 2010, or 2014. If the letter at the top of this post is correct, then Trump needs to avoid being a loser and the only way he does that is by convincing his fan base that he was cheated by the Establishment. Then remember his bleating, last August, about the GOP not treating him fairly, and a third party run, that resulted in the GOP loyalty pledge for candidates.
The more you look at it the more the letter makes sense and Magary’s article makes sense. If you look at Trump’s campaign as a long con that got out of hand, as a political version of The Producers, then there is really no mystery here, just a very painful and dangerous farce.