As we head into this Independence Day weekend that will hopefully give us all a little diversion and respite from the last several months, I’ve decided to think outside the box a little to see if I can snap out of this pre-election funk of mine. Being the resident pessimist wears on me even though I’ve got years of practice.
President Trump’s moribund reelection campaign could use a bit of a jump-start here in the dog days of summer and I know just the guy to do it: one Stephen K. Bannon. Full disclosure: this wasn’t my idea. A political junkie Trump supporter friend of mine mentioned it earlier in the week. I haven’t been able to get the idea out of my head since then, however.
It’s not that I am in a dead panic about Trump’s chances. It’s still early from an election year perspective and, as I have written more than once, I’m rather skeptical of the polls. I just feel that the campaign at present is oozing ennui — a subject I’m going to explore more in a column that will post later today. The Bannon touch could inject a little life into this listless organization.
Whatever Bannon was whispering into Trump’s ear in 2016 was magical. I have no idea what the present state of their relationship is, I’m merely wishcasting here. I’m in the mood for some magic after the insanity that we’ve been enduring for months. The pandemic and the riots will be more survivable if Trump is reelected. If Biden wins then the mob rule we’ve been seeing this past month will never go away.
I’ve known Bannon for a while — not well, but well enough to know that he was never the person the MSM made him out to be. We ran into each other a lot during the Tea Party years. He’s an interesting thinker who’s well-versed in history and knows a lot about politics. Had Trump been using a more conventional strategist in 2016 he would have lost. Bannon’s outsider vibe helped him survey the landscape and articulate a path for Trump’s victory.
“He’s the president of the United States,” he said. “He’s not a candidate. You act like president of the United States, you take action like the president of the United States, you govern like you are president of the United States, you are going to be reelected.”
He applauded Trump’s visit to the border wall in Arizona as the sort of event that would resonate with voters.
The campaign, he said, should be focused on the president as a law-and-order leader who created jobs and understands the threat from China.
“We don’t need rallies,” he said. “We need the president five days a week out there doing those types of things, showing people he as president is the driver of action.”
The catch there, of course, is that the corrupt media will distort everything that the president is doing. Bannon’s point is still solid. The strong presidential quality is what will resonate with non-coastal voters who propelled him to victory in 2016. Things have gotten better on the law-and-order front in recent days but there were a couple of weeks there when I was wondering if the president was even in the country.
Another plus to getting Bannon back in the mix is that he is one of the people from the Trump universe who triggers the lefties almost as much as the president himself does. Any excuse to make liberal heads explode is a good one and few things get them going all Scanners like saying the words “Steve Bannon.”
Bannon hasn’t been all that Trump-friendly in public lately but a welcoming invite back into the fold might make all of that go away. And if Bannon is too far gone to be helpful, then maybe the Trump campaign can find a “Steve Bannon type,” if such a person exists.
This Bannon fantasy of mine is just that, of course — a fantasy. Jared Kushner is still calling a lot of the shots behind the scenes and the rumor always was that Bannon and Kushner clashed a lot.
Still, stranger things have happened in Trump World. If anyone were to reappear from the early days of the administration, Bannon would probably be the least surprising.
And the most helpful.
Thanks for indulging a non-plague story.
Speaking of Thank Yous…
The Morning Briefing had its biggest month ever in June and I just wanted to give heartfelt thanks to all of you who’ve bought into my less-than-orthodox way of doing things. I have some lofty goals for the MB and I’m going to keep my foot on the gas. We’re going to make it weirder, if we can. I do value your input and all suggestions are welcome.