I guess everyone figured out Trump– and apparently Kellyanne– have abandoned the Kellyanne Conway tele-prompter approach and that he's back to counting on rage, bluster and anger to get him through. Deranged neo-Nazi crackpot Steve Bannon has got to be a happy camper after Trump's bizarre performance last night. Yesterday, before the debate, the NY Times listed 150 Republican leaders who don't support Trump, although relatively few are current Members of Congress. Doug Heye, a former RNC spokesman declared the presidential race over and urged Republicans “to confront our demons,” and examine how Trump could have captured the party. “Trump,” he said, “represents an indelible stain on the GOP's soul.” Criticizing Guiliani, Christie, Kellyanne Conway and other Trump enablers, without naming them, he said they sold out for money and power and “encouraged this fraud inside the party. And they knowingly have foisted a fraud upon the party.”
Former Bush aide Joe Watkins said of PussyGate that “this latest Trump revelation is a Category 5 level political catastrophe. GOP elected officials who endorsed or supported him in recent months have to consider their own political survival– especially if they are in a competitive race themselves this election cycle. No male or female GOP elected officials can offer any kind of justification for what Donald Trump said.”
Most media types were hailing Maggie Haberman's Inside Trump Tower, an Increasingly Upset and Alone Donald Trump as yesterday's winner-of-the-day. It certainly painted an unforgettable picture: Trump Tower as “a kind of lonely fortress for its most famous occupant, who holes up inside, increasingly isolated and upset, denounced almost every hour by another Republican official… asked to stay away from a party gathering Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin, where Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other state luminaries took the stage, a striking rebuke that left the Republican nominee for president with no place to go on a Saturday 31 days before the election.” Watching CNN Saturday, he became “more upset as he saw Republican officials condemn him one by one.” (Why doesn't he just watch Fox if he wants to feel good?)
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, an observant Jew who normally does not work on the Sabbath, was among those who gathered with him on Saturday, although the candidate’s oldest daughter, Ivanka, was not. Mr. Trump’s oldest son, Donald Jr., was there. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Rudolph W. Giuliani also showed up, as did the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus.
Mr. Christie and Mr. Priebus told Mr. Trump that the situation with other Republicans was becoming dire. Other advisers assured Mr. Trump that attacking Mrs. Clinton over her husband’s behavior with women, and over reports that she had defended his behavior, would help rally Republicans again.
Ms. Trump and the rest of the Trump family made plans to travel with the candidate to the debate, in part to buoy his spirits.
But the real source of comfort to Mr. Trump seemed to be the small band of supporters waving Trump signs on the Fifth Avenue sidewalk outside the building. His fans clashed with people walking by, including a woman who told a female Trump supporter that she should go back to her “trailer.”
Mr. Trump could not resist the scene. Just before 5 p.m., he descended from what his aides grandly call “the residence” and strode through the marbled lobby, with his son and his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, in tow.
He slipped through the glass front door, startling some of his star-struck supporters.
The crowd screamed and reached out to touch his suit jacket. He bathed in the rapturous admiration.
He pumped his right fist in the air and smiled. He looked rejuvenated.
He stayed for just five minutes, electrifying the scene.
But before he departed, one reporter screamed a question at him, asking whether he would remain in the race. “Hundred percent,” Mr. Trump replied.
He turned and headed back to the tower, clapping his hands as if to applaud his supporters, and himself.
Trump needed that enthusiasm from the deplorables who will never abandon him, who love him all the more for– and because of– his racism, his misogyny, his xenophobia, bigotry and for the hatred of a system he feigns for the benefit of those who really do hate it (and everything else that makes them the wretched of the earth). He needed it because the Republicans he threw his lot in with have been abandoning him very publicly. And it's been driving him insane. Those around him are likely worried he'll now go back to spending as much vitriolic energy against Republicans as he will against Hillary– although he restrained himself from doing that during the debate last night.
Imagine how Trump must have exploded when he read that Pence said “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.” We saw a flash of that last night when Trump peremptorily dismissed Pence's stated policy towards Syria and said, basically, that he's hasn't discussed it with Pence and that he'll just stick with Assad and Putin instead.
As dozens of Republican elected officials called on Trump to step down from the ticket, he said “I haven’t heard from anyone saying I should drop out, and that would never happen, never happen. That’s not the kind of person I am. I am in this until the end.”
Even before we were reading the polls showing Florida voters abandoning Trump and ready to hand the state's must-win (for Trump) 29 electoral votes to Clinton, Florida Republicans joined the other rats in abandoning the SS Trumpanzee. GOP Congressmembers Tom Rooney, David Jolly, Carlos Curbelo, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are publicly saying they won't vote for him. Wormy little coward Marco Rubio is still too scared to unendorse Trump and hopes to get away with just saying, “Donald's comments were vulgar, egregious and impossible to justify. No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.” He's said even worse thing about Trump, but still urges his supporters to vote for him. That's the opposite of leadership and a perfect definition of political cowardice. In Patrick Murphy, Rubio has the weakest and most unqualified opponent the Democrats are running for Senate anywhere this year– and because of his Trump-cowardice, he may even lose.
Florida Republican congressional incumbents with challengers attacking then for still still backing Trump– Mario Diaz-Balart and John Mica– are both frantically running around like chickens without heads trying to decide what to do. Maybe listening to GOP strategist Steve Schmidt on Meet the Press yesterday will help them. This is very powerful:
UPDATE: This Morning's Polling Catastrophe
The new polling from the Wall Street Journal and NBC reflects how likely voters were thinking after Trump's “grab 'em by the pussy” tape came out. A month from tomorrow, America votes. Over the weekend they told the pollsters that Clinton was going to win– and win very big. In the 4-way match-up she's sitting with 46% to Trump's 35% and in a head-to-head, it's Hillary 52%, Trumpy-the-Clown 38%.
And among all registered voters, Clinton's lead is 13 points, her largest advantage over Trump since the poll began testing the pair last September.
As Republicans grapple with how to hold on to control of the House and Senate despite the Trump campaign's woes, Democrats overall now have a seven-point advantage on the question of which party voters want to see in control of Congress.
Forty-nine percent of voters say they'd like to see Democrats in power on Capitol Hill, compared to 42 percent who chose the GOP.
That's up from a three-point advantage for Democrats (48 percent to 45 percent) last month, and it's the largest advantage for Democrats since the October 2009 government shutdown.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis