Because Donald Trump has spent his entire campaign wildly careening from one nonsense statement and inflammatory controversy to the next, it's often tempting to just shrug off his ludicrous tantrum du jour. That's exactly what much of the media did last night, when Trump fired off a poorly-written, sore-loser broadside against Ted Cruz after the Texas Senator cleaned his clock in Wisconsin. We wrote about this in our primary recap post, but it's worth a separate mention. Please enjoy this ungainly, slow-witted rhetorical monument to the opposite of magnanimity:
NEW: Trump campaign statement tonight pic.twitter.com/ycqP3IJYWn— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 6, 2016
Focus on the line about SuperPAC coordination, replete with the parenthetical reference to alleged criminality. What is Trump talking about here? We have no idea, and neither does he, truth be told. Like a child, Trump often confuses his feelings with facts, which leads to evidence-free assertions like this. As we noted earlier, perhaps Trump picked up tips on slanderous smear jobs from his financial beneficiary, Harry Reid. Is it possible that Trump is still referring to the SuperPAC that spent $300 on a Facebook ad in Utah featuring a racy photo of his wife? He blamed that ad as a rationalization for his ugly personal attacks on Ted Cruz's wife, claiming that a Cruz SuperPAC was responsible, and insisting that Cruz knew all about it. Even some loyal Trump fans have acknowledged the verifiable fact that the former statement is untrue, and Trump's own campaign manager rejected the latter allegation. Maybe he's referencing Cruz's attendance at events organized by one of his affiliated SuperPACs...which the Washington Post points out is entirely permissible under election laws. Guess away. Rather than battle Cruz on issues (tough guy Trump won't agree to any more debates), Trump resorts to name-calling, conspiracy-mongering and mindless sloganeering, which is all he's got. That, and an unparalleled ability to lead the press around by the nose, lurching from vapidity to vulgarity. Here are two stories that the celebrity billionaire doesn't want the media focusing on. First, via Politico:
Donald Trump’s campaign is increasingly falling into disarray as the Manhattan billionaire braces for a loss in Wisconsin that could set him on course for an uncertain convention floor fight for the Republican presidential nomination. Since March, the campaign has been laying off field staff en masse around the country and has dismantled much of what existed of its organizations in general-election battlegrounds, including Florida and Ohio. Last month, the campaign laid off the leader of its data team, Matt Braynard, who did not train a successor. It elevated his No. 2, a data engineer with little prior high-level political strategy experience, and also shifted some of his team’s duties to a 2015 college graduate whose last job was an internship with the consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive. Some of the campaign’s data remains inaccessible. As the final stretch of this hard fought GOP primary bogs down into a delegate fight among party insiders and operatives that likely won’t be decided until the July convention in Cleveland, Trump’s singular star power appears to be no longer enough—and his campaign’s months-long lack of attention to other fundamentals is emerging as a hindrance to his ability to clinch the nomination outright...
At the moment, though, Trump’s team appears to be something of a patchwork group without much experience—partly because so many staffers are being fired...“I believe that Donald Trump has the backbone to fix this country, but if changes are not made soon at the top I am fairly convinced that he will lose,” said one of the people who left the campaign. The person said morale among the campaign staff is sinking, attributing that to the layoffs, as well as Lewandowski’s profanity-laced outburst on campaign calls. “I don’t think Mr. Trump knows what’s happening on his campaign,” the person said, adding “everyone is in astonishment of what’s going on. It’s almost like they’re sabotaging themselves.”
And this, from Trump-friendly Breitbart:
Trump’s campaign has been fueled, from the beginning, with these hot button issues and an extraordinary communications-based strategy, where you utilize these huge rallies, the incredible media coverage they have generated, plus the high-profile debates, plus — give Trump credit — any interview he could do, as many interviews as he could do to reach as many voters he can reach. And that has worked. Up until now...The campaign has no infrastructure in the states...The woman who ran Wisconsin for Trump previously ran Oklahoma for Trump. Trump lost. Prior to that, she had never run any political campaign, so there was no depth of experience. This is something I see again and again, particularly at the ground roots level. Now, I salute these people for their enthusiasm, but this is a science. This is not something we guess about. And now you move to a serious of states like Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona [which] should be watched very carefully. And those become hand-to-hand combat at state conventions or state committee meetings, where once again the Trump people have built no infrastructure.
The source of those quotes? Roger Stone. Yes, this Roger Stone. It would seem that Trump is either terrible at judging and attracting talent, or he's so lazy, unserious, cheap, foolish and arrogant (or some combination thereof) as to have refused to spend the time and resources cultivating a professional squad, comprised of accomplished people. If he ends up losing the nomination, he'll have nobody to blame but himself. With a quasi-competent, on-the-ball team, he'd probably have this thing sewn up by now. But he doesn't. It turns out that when a self-absorbed egomaniac intentionally surrounds himself with "unsuccessful people," lasting, viable success can prove elusive.