Tuesday, June 05, 2018


Rudy Giuliani seems like President Trump's favorite adviser now, but if you know anything about Trump, you'll read between the lines of this Daily Beast story and realize that Rudy's days are probably numbered.
Giuliani has become not just a lead attorney on Trump’s legal team but also a political adviser, a prominent media surrogate, and even an apparent foreign policy spokesman—sometimes to the chagrin of senior administration officials.

“Just because I’m acting as his lawyer does not mean we don’t talk about other things,” said Giuliani. "I’m one of his closest friends, I've given him political advice for years.”

Giuliani has, indeed, been a long time adviser of Trump’s including the heydays of the 2016 election. But only recently has he had such a direct audience with the president. And he’s proving willing to use his access.
Case in point: the endorsement of Staten Island GOP congressman Dan Donovan over his rival, Michael Grimm.
Among those encouraging the president to throw his weight behind Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) was his newest attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who himself endorsed Donovan’s reelection bid against his primary challenger, former congressman and convicted felon Michael Grimm.

“I like both of them,” Giuliani told The Daily Beast, referring to Donovan and Grimm, “but I thought, as did several other people that spoke to the president, that Donovan has a better chance of winning."

... Trump’s endorsement of Donovan came less than a month ahead of his primary contest against Grimm, who held the seat before going to prison in 2015 on federal tax evasion charges. Both candidates sought Trump’s endorsement, which carries significant political weight in the Staten Island district.
Here's the problem: It looks as if Trump's candidate might lose that primary.
Former Rep. Michael Grimm is leading his Republican primary opponent, incumbent Dan Donovan, by 10 points in his hard-fought battle to win back his congressional seat, despite Donovan's recent endorsement by President Donald Trump.

A new NY1/Siena poll shows Grimm winning against Donovan by 10 points, 47 to 37 percent in New York's 11th Congressional District.
Even though Giuliani helped persuade Trump to endorse Donovan, GOP voters in the district think Grimm is Trumpier:
Voters overwhelmingly thought Grimm would do a better job than Donovan of working with Trump. Fifty-four percent felt Grimm would work well with the president, while just 29 percent of those polled felt that way about Donovan.
This may not not be the last word on this race -- some of the interviews for the poll took place before the Trump endorsement, and, of course, it's just one poll. But it's clear that Grimm seems Trumpier than Donovan. The fact that Trump and Giuliani have endorsed Donovan because he's perceived as a better general election candidate is probably a reason the primary electorate is rejecting him -- GOP voters, even in New York City, prefer candidates non-Republicans hate. In this race, based on that criterion, the clear choice is Grimm. So it's no surprise that he's winning.

If Donovan loses, will Trump blame himself for backing a loser? Of course not. Every Trump failing is someone else's fault. In this case, it will be Giuliani's.

And if Rudy's still around for the general election, there could be another embarrassment:

Trump might blame the entire sequence on Rudy.

Meanwhile, the fact that the Beast story exists at all is a bad sign for Rudy. Trump likes it when his people go on TV and defend him in a way that pleases him. He doesn't like it when the press writes about any of his people as if they're the stars -- and he really doesn't like it when a surrogate or adviser is portrayed as the one who's really calling the shots, rather than Trump himself.

Rudy's lucky so far -- this is just a Daily Beast story. It's online. Trump probably doesn't even know how to read the Daily Beast on his phone. But if Giuliani stories start appearing in legacy print publications Trump is familiar with -- The New York Times, Time, New York magazine -- then Rudy's in trouble. And if they're cover stories, and they imply in any way that Giuliani is Trump's brain, he's doomed.

I think we're heading that way soon. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, Rudy.

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