Yes, Virginia, this is the Trump Campaign, Maybe
Step away for a moment from the remarks about groping women, refuting election results, and every other contentious subject which has found its way into this campaign recently. There has been much discussion of Trump the person, but I’d like to briefly discuss something else: Trump the manager. Because whatever concerns people may have about his character, it’s the campaign he is running which may be the most concrete guide to the kind of White House he would run if elected.
There is no better place to examine this issue than right here in Virginia, particularly after events so far in October. The most recent announcement from Trump regarding our state was a press release this week which announced two things: a $2 million ad buy in the state, which is fairly unremarkable, even in a state where polls often show him losing by double-digit margins; and a leadership team consisting of various elected officials.
This press release was a…. wait a minute. Did he really just announce a state leadership team in mid-October? In a previously close swing state which may have already slipped away from him? Hillary Clinton managed to name a Virginia leadership team in October of last year, giving her just a *slight* head start on putting together a winning operation.
This comes shortly after other developments which Bearing Drift has covered, including Trump’s campaign HQ suddenly informing Virginia staffers that it was pulling out of the state, surprising them and winnowing Trump’s campaign to a four-state operation. There was some later debate as to whether this was merely a short-term shifting of resources (as the Trump campaign and RPV eventually claimed) or an actual surrender, though Trump’s recently-fired state chairman confirmed that it was the latter.
Yes, that is the same state chairman who was just fired for openly ignoring the candidate’s orders and holding a protest outside of RNC headquarters.
Pretend for a second that Trump had never said anything controversial during this campaign – never uttered the words “Muslim” or “Mexican” or “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I would be dating her.” What would we think of a manager who appoints a leadership team to help complete a crucial part of a nationwide project barely 20 days before the final deadline? What if that happened less than a week after the staff was told that part of the project was actually cancelled? What if that happened less than a week after the head employee on that part of the project ignored the manager, staged an open protest somewhere, and gets fired?
Virginia, this is/was/might still be your Trump campaign. Even if Donald Trump were to defy the odds and win the White House, he would have to defy the odds even more bigly in order to be organized enough to get something done.