Donald Trump held a press conference today, which is rarely a good idea for him. But this time around it played out in particularly surreal fashion. He spent a little under two minutes lifelessly stumbling through a prepared statement, and when he finished reading it, he walked off.
We know what Trump is trying to do by “ordering” that churches reopen during a pandemic. He doesn’t have the constitutional authority to give any such order; it’s up to the governors. He’s doing this because he’s trying to goad his own evangelical supporters into attacking any governors who aren’t willing to reopen churches during the pandemic. He wants the conflict. Divisiveness is all he knows. But that’s not the point.
The point is that Trump could barely force himself to give two minutes of his time to this cause, even though it involves evangelicals, one of his most fervent and strategically important voting demographics. This comes at a time when Trump is on track to lose the 2020 election badly, and he needs to be taking these kinds of things seriously.
We don’t know if Donald Trump walked off after two minutes today because he just wasn’t physically up for it, or if he couldn’t be bothered to make an effort because he’s stopped caring, or if his handlers are so afraid of his declining condition that they’re afraid to risk letting him take any questions. But either way, Trump is out of gas.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report