We’ve all seen Donald Trump get obsessively hung up on various peccadilloes, often so seemingly minor that it’s not initially clear why he’s become so obsessed with them. Over time, each of those little hangups has since been revealed to have been something that was indeed important, for reasons known only to him at the time. In that vein, Trump’s latest oddly specific obsession reveals that he’s feeling the heat.
On the evening of December 25th, Trump tweeted “I hope everyone is having a great Christmas, then tomorrow it’s back to work in order to Make America Great Again (which is happening faster than anyone anticipated)!” It was an odd statement, because neither his supporters nor his detractors were likely to care whether he raced back to work the day after Christmas or not. Then we gradually learned that Trump had absolutely no work items on his schedule, not only for the next day, but for the next week.
Again, who cares? Trump’s base doesn’t care what he does, and many of Trump’s biggest detractors have concluded the nation is better off when he’s not doing any work. Yet again today, Trump repeated the same message: “Will be leaving Florida for Washington (D.C.) today at 4:00 P.M. Much work to be done, but it will be a great New Year!” Why is this guy suddenly so obsessed with trying to convince anyone who will listen that he’s going to get some work done?
Trump’s base and decorators don’t care about how much or little he works. Yet he’s suddenly insistent on pushing the (phony) claim that he’s hard at work. Why? The only people who would care are those in the middle, who don’t pay much attention to politics, and who still have yet to figure out if he’s indeed garbage or if his detractors are simply lying about him. Donald Trump – or whoever on his staff told him to focus obsessively on how much work he’s supposedly doing – is suddenly worried about what the people in the middle think of him.
That’s because his approval rating is dangerously close to falling into the twenties, at which point he’ll be finished. His base is 15% of the country and doesn’t matter one bit. It’s the other 17% of the people who make up his 32% approval rating, his mild supporters who have never loved him, who will decide his fate. Trump is suddenly trying to convince them that he’s hard at work, because that’s the kind of thing they’ll ultimately judge him on. That makes it more important than ever for the Resistance to push the fact that he does virtually no work and spends nearly his entire presidency golfing or hanging out at his own properties.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report