If you spend a few minutes on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed this week, that time is being spent in one of the most bizarre alternative realities ever. It’s a world where the most important issue facing the lame-duck loser president is… a picayune beef with Fox News. Sure, he’s also retweeted some stuff about the Georgia runoff election, but most of the tweets are about how he, the broke-ass fascist crybaby, is somehow the “Golden Goose.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2020
Clearly, Trump thinks that his post-presidency will involve the media somehow, perhaps even starting his own gold-plated clown network in direct competition with Fox News. Which is a scary thought, I’ll admit. But I just don’t believe that Trump will have the stamina, intelligence or the money to pull it off. Plus, he’s probably going to face tons of criminal charges and lawsuits once he’s dragged out of his office. According to the NY Times, Trump has really begun to ponder all of this and more:
At a meeting on Wednesday at the White House, President Trump had something he wanted to discuss with his advisers, many of whom have told him his chances of succeeding at changing the results of the 2020 election are thin as a reed. He then proceeded to press them on whether Republican legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors in a handful of key states and deliver him the electoral votes he needs to change the math and give him a second term, according to people briefed on the discussion. It was not a detailed conversation, or really a serious one, the people briefed on it said. Nor was it reflective of any obsessive desire of Mr. Trump’s to remain in the White House.
“He knows it’s over,” one adviser said. But instead of conceding, they said, he is floating one improbable scenario after another for staying in office while he contemplates his uncertain post-presidency future.
There is no grand strategy at play, according to interviews with a half-dozen advisers and people close to the president. Mr. Trump is simply trying to survive from one news cycle to the next, seeing how far he can push his case against his defeat and ensure the continued support of his Republican base. By dominating the story of his exit from the White House, he hopes to keep his millions of supporters energized and engaged for whatever comes next.
As a next step, Mr. Trump is talking seriously about announcing that he is planning to run again in 2024, aware that whether he actually does it or not, it will freeze an already-crowded field of possible Republican candidates. And, Republicans say, it will keep the wide support he showed even in defeat and could guarantee a lucrative book deal or speaking fees.
In the meantime, Mr. Trump has spent his days toggling between his White House residence and the Oval Office, watching television coverage about the final weeks of his presidency. His mood is often bleak, advisers say, though he is not raising his voice in anger, despite the impression left by his tweets, which are often in capital letters. But the work of government has been reduced to something of a sideshow for the president. He has not made any public appearances except for a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day since an angry statement a week ago. And he has not spoken about the coronavirus pandemic or mentioned it on Twitter despite the staggering growth in positive cases and the number of West Wing aides and outside advisers who have been diagnosed with the virus in the past week.
The president has nursed a burning anger at Fox News for calling Arizona for Mr. Biden on election night, and has entertained suggestions from allies to start some kind of competing conservative-leaning news network, whether by trying to join forces with an existing property like OANN or Newsmax, or forming a digital network of his own, as Axios reported. (The New York Times called Arizona for Mr. Biden late Thursday.) Several Republicans expressed doubt on Thursday that Mr. Trump would ever be able to put together anything that could overtake Fox. And allies acknowledge that he could not do both a presidential campaign and create a news network at the same time, and they questioned whether he would keep up his animus toward Fox if it were to offer him a lucrative contributor deal once he is out of office.
Some advisers had hoped that Mr. Trump would accept the state of the race by the end of this week, but a looming recount in Georgia may delay that. The president has told some advisers that if the race is certified for Mr. Biden, he will announce a 2024 campaign shortly afterward.
[From The NY Times]
Even with the Georgia recount – which is happening just as GA’s secretary of state tested positive for the coronavirus – the election could still be certified for Biden-Harris. They didn’t *need* Georgia to win the election, but it sure was nice, and the election can be certified regardless. Anyway, yeah, all of this talk about Trump creating his own bigly media empire… remember when people thought Sarah Palin would do that? And nothing came of it, because this type of person – the Palin/Trump type – doesn’t have the discipline, the money, or the intelligence to put it together. So, like everything else, it ends up being some big, dumb grift.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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