Donald Trump’s insane running mate saga just turn another bizarre turn involving Nikki Haley

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Earlier today the media ran with a story about how Donald Trump was supposedly considering Nikki Haley as his running mate. It’s funny how these kinds of stories, sounding way too on the nose and coming from unsourced leaks, always tend to break on days like today, a Saturday on which no real political news is happening. But that’s another story.

By this afternoon Trump was already making a point of refuting the story on his social network. Of course the official leak, and Trump’s denial, both have to be taken with an enormous grain of salt.

Think about who would have leaked this and why. Trump’s political advisers can surely see that Haley is still getting about 20% of the vote in Republican primary states even though she dropped out months ago. In reality that’s simply because she was the last candidate standing, not because she has any inherent popularity of her own. But it wouldn’t be surprising for one of Trump’s inept advisers to draw the simplistically wrong conclusion that putting Haley on the ticket would fix things, and then leak to the media that Trump is considering Haley.

In other words it reads like yet another attempt at a self fulfilling prophecy, which is what most of these kinds of leaks are. Normally this kind of thing doesn’t work. The candidate is against picking someone, but after reading a leak that he’s supposedly considering that person, he’s going to change his mind and pick that person? It’s all quite silly. Until you remember that Trump has symptoms of severe dementia.

If you’ve dealt with a dementia patient, you know how it works. You can’t change a dementia patient’s mind by confronting him, no matter how convincing your argument. But you can casually float an idea a few times in a row, and eventually the patient will forget that he heard it from you, and think it’s his own idea, and come out stubbornly in favor of it. It’s how caring people get a dementia patient to take a certain pill he needs. It’s how bad people con a dementia patient into giving them his life savings. And it’s how political advisers convince a dementia-riddled candidate to go along with their advice.

The trouble for Trump’s advisers is that they’re clearly not all on the same page. One or more of them is apparently behind the leak about Trump considering Haley. But some other people around Trump clearly weren’t in on it, because they helped Trump quickly post a public refutation of the leak.

The kicker of course is that even after Trump announced that he’s not considering Haley, one of Trump’s handlers leaked to Axios that yes, Trump really is considering Haley. And yes, Axios actually printed this even after Trump himself publicly insisted it wasn’t true, a reminder of how access journalism works. Their job is to amplify whatever their sources tell them is supposedly true, whether it sounds realistic or not, so that their sources will keep giving them information.

In other words, we have no idea whether Trump is going to end up considering Haley. It’s not just that Trump’s own people are clearly split on the idea and are working against each other on the messaging. It’s that you can’t predict what someone as senile as Trump is going to do. After all, Trump has days where he literally thinks Nikki Haley is Nancy Pelosi. Whether or not he would consider Haley on any given day would come down at least partially to whether he can remember on that day that Haley isn’t Pelosi. Let’s not forget how far gone this guy is cognitively.

It’s not just that Trump has trouble remembering who Nikki Haley is. When he recently saw the name of his other potential running mate Elise Stefanik on his teleprompter, he didn’t appear to have any idea who she was, and had to sound out her name phonetically. And during his trial, Trump fist bumped a witness who had just given damning testimony against him, because Trump’s ability to understand what’s going on around him seems limited to “Hey I think I know that guy” and nothing more. And now Trump is supposed to pick a running mate?

If Trump were approaching his running mate situation logically, he’d have to consider his current situation. He’s showing embarrassing and worsening signs of dementia, and he’s about to become a convicted felon, all before this summer’s Republican National Convention. He should be focused on trying to fend off a potential delegate revolt at the convention.

If Haley is the most obvious candidate to replace him in a convention floor fight, then picking her as his running mate could be a good way of taking her off the table. On the other hand, if Trump does pick a big name like Haley, and then he runs into further trouble with his criminal trials and dementia after the convention, the party might be more inclined to boot him and elevate his big name running mate. So perhaps Trump should pick an unpopular nobody as his running mate.

But again, all of this requires logic, and critical thinking, and not being dementia riddled. The media is having faux-serious conversations about whether Trump is going to pick Nikki Haley as his running mate, even though Trump is so far gone he thinks Nikki Haley is Nancy Pelosi. Trump’s mind is a joke these days, and all these conversations about him picking a running mate are also a joke.

Trump will ultimately just pick whatever name he can remember on the day he has to pick someone, or whoever his political handlers trick him into picking. Since he’s senile, and his handlers are idiots who can’t get on the same page with each other, there’s no point in even trying to predict who the pick will be. All we know for sure is that it’ll be absurd.

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