WILLIE BROWN: It’s Trump vs. Trump, and Trump is losing
San Francisco Chronicle
President Trump is off his game. Way off.
He made a major a mistake by underestimating and then playing down the effect the coronavirus would have on the country. He thought it would be over in 21 days, and when it wasn’t, his solution was to pretend it really was.
Now he’s faced with a gambler’s hand that has three very bad cards: 14 million unemployed people, 125,000 dead and the ghost of George Floyd in the form of millions of people in this country and around the world demanding a change on the race issue.
His answer to that last one appears to be to champion the statues of Confederate generals that were erected during the Jim Crow days. It’s worse than unresponsive — it’s something that can appeal only to the basest of his base.
Everyone else is peeling away fast. Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, resigned his House seat to take the White House job, only to see the candidate he and the president endorsed as his replacement get thumped in the GOP primary by a 24-year-old rookie.
Joe Biden, who has spent most of the past three months in his basement, has built a nearly 10-point national lead in the polls, a bigger lead than Hillary Clinton ever had over Trump in 2016.
A New York Times-Siena College poll showed the presumptive Democratic nominee up by 11 points in Michigan and Wisconsin, 10 points in Pennsylvania, nine in North Carolina and six in Florida. All states that Trump needs to win to stay in office.
On top of this, Trump’s first campaign rally since the pandemic’s onset was a flop, both in numbers and performance.
For Trump to be Trump, he needs two things: humor and a target.
A plague, economic crash and rage over racism do not make for good jokes.
As for targets, Biden is no Hillary Clinton. He may babble at times, but he will never polarize a room just by walking into it the way Clinton did.
The longer Biden can stay off the stage, the longer Trump will have to be a one-man show.
These days, the show is Trump beating himself up at every turn.