Sunday, October 06, 2019


Axios's Jonathan Swan reports:
In numerous recent conversations with colleagues, including last week's senior staff meeting, White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has said he thinks President Trump could win 45 states in 2020 after the impeachment process....

People who've heard Mulvaney make this remark say he wasn't joking or even exaggerating. He appears to genuinely believe that impeachment will have a profoundly positive effect on Trump's political fortunes, according to 3 sources who have heard Mulvaney make the 45-state prediction.
Swan says this is "a magnitude of landslide that few if any independent pollsters would dare predict." Few? Try none. No presidential candidate has won more than 32 states since 1988, and the last president to win more than 40 was Ronald Reagan in 1984. Polarization makes a 45-state landslide all but impossible these days.

Let's look at the state-by-state results in 2016. Hillary Clinton won Hawaii by 32 points. She won California by 30, Massachusetts by 27, and Maryland and Vermont by 26. She won New York State by 22 points -- that was her sixth-best state. What Mulvaney is predicting is that Trump will close a 22-point gap in New York State next year. (In Quinnipiac's most recent poll of New York State, Trump had a 28% favorable rating and a 67% unfavorable rating, and 64% of respondents said they definitely wouldn't vote for Trump.) Oh, and he'll have to make similar gains in Illinois (Clinton by 17), Rhode Island (Clinton by 15), New Jersey (Clinton by 14)....

Why is Mulvaney saying this, and why are three people swearing to Jonathan Swan that he really, really means it? I think this CNN story from late September explains it:
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is on shaky ground in the wake of a bad week for President Trump, according to multiple sources with knowledge of discussions surrounding the whistleblower fallout....

What Trump and other aides are frustrated with, according to the sources, is that Mulvaney did not have a strategy for defending and explaining the contents of those documents as soon as they were publicly released.

One of the sources says it's not just the President, but also widespread frustration in the White House about the lack of a response plan to deal with the fallout after the release of the whistleblower complaint ignited more controversy surrounding the President. The sources say Mulvaney is taking the heat for that.
I don't think Mulvaney has a choice if he wants to keep his job -- he needs to butter up the boss, and friends need to tell the media that his flattery is very, very sincere. Of course Trump will become massively popular once he's impeached! This will just be a restoration of the natural order of things, with Trump as the universally beloved president he was always meant to be!

I'm sure Mulvaney has seen to it that the Axios story appears prominently in Trump's daily packet of news stories. I wonder if it will save his job.

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