Steve Bannon has long been depicted by the media as the evil mastermind who managed to get Donald Trump elected President, and the puppet master who secretly controlled Trump’s White House from the shadows. Based on what we’ve seen in recent months, it’s now safe to say that none of that was ever true. In fact, based on what we saw last night, it appears Bannon is now circling the drain.
Bannon tried to throw his full weight behind Republican candidate Ed Gillespie in the Virginia race for Governor. Gillespie, who has been around politics forever and is savvy enough to know which way the wind is blowing, tentatively embraced Bannon at best. Gillespie ended up losing badly, by nine points. He had been faring far better in the polls before he began flirting with Bannon’s brand of white supremacist Trumpism. In other words, Steve Bannon is toxic to candidates in races where the electorate is even close to being mainstream. Of course this is nothing new.
In hindsight, Bannon didn’t make any ingenious moves to get Donald Trump elected. Trump spent the final few months of the election taking Bannon’s advice, and he ended up losing by three million votes. This was even after the Russians went all-in on rigging the election in Trump’s favor. In other words, Bannon ran a crappy campaign. Now the only question regarding Bannon is whether his former company Cambridge Analytica succeeded in its now-partially-admitted efforts to conspire with Russia to rig the election. In other words, the only way Bannon might have helped Trump win is if he helped Trump cheat.
Nor did Steve Bannon succeed in Donald Trump’s White House. It took him less than a year to get run out on a rail. Trump’s senior advisers are a collection of idiots who can’t tie their shoelaces, yet half of them have managed to last longer than Bannon did. So even after Bannon ran Trump’s campaign into the ground, and got handed a plush White House job anyway, he blew that too. Now Bannon is blowing it for people like Gillespie. Like so many other people in Trump’s realm, Bannon is just a loudmouth credit grabbing buffoon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report