As written about here on Plunderbund and elsewhere, this week Donald Trump’s incompetence and arrogance were both on full bombastic, sputtering and sniffling display for all of America to see at the first presidential debate between the businessman and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump’s debate performance was what he himself would likely refer to as a “disaster” — since he calls so many of the “problems” in this country “disasters” — and he wouldn’t be wrong if he did.
Even John Podhoretz of the New York Post wrote that,”By the time the last 15 minutes rolled around, [Trump] was reduced to yammering about Rosie O’Donnell being mean to him and Hillary running mean commercials about him and praising himself because there are some really terrible things he could have said about Hillary but hasn’t.” And that’s from a paper that endorsed the guy. “By performing this incompetently,” Podhoretz continues, “By refusing to prepare properly for this exchange, by not learning enough to put meat on the bones of his populist case against Clinton, [Trump] displayed nothing but contempt for the people who have brought him this far — and for the American people who are going to make this momentous decision on Nov. 8.” What? Trump let down people who believed in him? You don’t say!
As Podhoretz points out, refusing to prepare is indeed what Trump did. As has now been revealed to the New York Times by anonymous campaign insiders, internally Team Trump is rightfully distraught about their candidate’s performance — and more importantly, his complete lack of preparation for the most important 95 minutes of his life. Per the Times, “In interviews, seven campaign aides and advisers, most of whom sought anonymity to speak candidly, expressed frustration and discouragement over their candidate’s performance Monday night.” Seven campaign aides and advisors speaking anonymously so they can speak candidly? That alone shows the derailing of the Trump Train is in full swing.
Keep in mind that these campaign aides and advisors who have leaked information to the Times about the imploding campaign are still getting paychecks from said campaign. And keep in mind Trump wouldn’t even let his most seasoned, scumbag aides tell him what to do. “There were early efforts to run a more standard form of general election debate-prep camp, led by Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chief, at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J.,” the Times writes. “But Mr. Trump found it hard to focus during those meetings, according to multiple people briefed on the process who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. That left Mr. Ailes, who at the time was deeply distracted by his removal from Fox and the news media reports surrounding it, discussing his own problems as well as recounting political war stories, according to two people present for the sessions.” Maybe if Trump was a vulnerable young blond with aspirations in television, Ailes would have pressed him harder, but like the rest of the Trump campaign, Ailes is likely not there because of loyalty — just a paycheck.
Couple all of this with solidly Republican newspapers endorsing Hillary Clinton in the ensuing days after the debate — some having not endorsed a Democrat for president in over 100 years — as well as former Republican senator John Warner’s endorsement of Clinton this week, and you have a full-fledged sinking of the ship called Trumptanic that’s hit an iceberg called reality, and won’t leave many survivors unless those interested in their own careers decide to jump ship before it’s too late. This brings into question Ohio’s own junior senator, Rob Portman.
Portman officially endorsed Trump back in May when the orange fiasco essentially locked up the Republican nomination, although as local news outlets noted, “it wasn’t an enthusiastic endorsement.” But as late as July, when Ohio’s GOP was publicly bickering with top members of the Trump campaign during the RNC, Portman doubled down on his support for The Donald’s economic prowess at a delegate breakfast, saying, “That’s what needs to be done in Washington D.C. with the new president of the United States named Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, and with a Republican Senate that can work with them to restore that American Dream.”
So, will Portman still full-heartedly endorse Trump’s candidacy despite the billionaire’s disastrous debate performance this week? Will he still think that Trump’s impact will be “positive in the end” because the celebrity billionaire is bringing “new people to the party?” I’ll give $5 to the first reporter allowed within 10 feet of Portman (this reporter is not!) to ask him what he thought of Trump’s debate performance — and whether or not his endorsement still stands.