Now that Donald Trump has managed to buy himself a proverbial five minute head start before the Mueller report eventually surfaces and dooms him, we’ve all been looking for signs of what he might do with the brief opportunity. We’ve seen him try to make horribly destructive moves this past week, ranging from health care to the Special Olympics. But that’s just his short term vindictive rage. What’s his longer term plan?
That answer may have just arrived in the oddly-placed very last paragraph of an otherwise routine New York Times article. After laying out quote after meaningless quote from unnamed Trump 2020 campaign advisers, we finally end up with the only quote that matters: “After two years in office, Mr. Trump, 72, is tired, aides said. The unstoppable campaigner, so far, will commit to participating in only one campaign event a day, and recently balked at a possible rally out West during a fund-raising swing.” Wait, what?
It’s no surprise that this is the case. All you have to do is observe Donald Trump these days to see that he has no energy left, his physical health is poor, and his cognitive abilities are fraying. But why on earth would Trump’s own people make a point of admitting this to a major newspaper? Even the dumbest of campaigns don’t publicly admit that their candidate is tired and worn out – unless they’re trying to lay the groundwork for that candidate to step aside.
So now we know that there is at least a faction of people within Donald Trump’s inner circle who are trying to lay the groundwork for him being a one-term president. The timing seems surreal, considering he just now finally got himself (falsely, temporarily) exonerated. But perhaps that’s simply Trump’s gameplan: hide behind William Barr to kick his scandals down the road, then announce he’s not seeking reelection, and hope people lose interest in pushing for the Mueller report to publicly surface.
We’ll see. But just because the New York Times overlooked the importance of this quote, and buried it at the end of a lengthy article that most people won’t even finish reading, you shouldn’t overlook it. Trump’s own people just made a point of announcing that they don’t think he’s up for running again. It’s worth watching to see if and how Trump’s people continue pushing this narrative.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report