* Timothy O’Brien – who wrote the biography “TrumpNation” – suggests that what we’re seeing in terms of disarray in the Trump campaign was also present in his business dealings.
During a 16-month period stretching from late 1989 to early 1991, Trump churned through five different presidents he had hand-picked to run his flagship casino, the Taj Mahal — a preview of how he’s run his presidential campaign.
We know how all of this eventually ended in Atlantic City: four corporate bankruptcies, investments soured, jobs destroyed, a town left hollowed out, and Trump still angling for fees, perks, and other corporate table scraps until he finally exited the market in 2014.
The Trump Organization itself — the licensing and development boutique on the 26th floor of Trump Tower — is a tribal operation, increasingly stewarded by the three eldest Trump children. It is sparsely populated by a tightly knit group of loyalists who have been with the Trump family for many years. But it has never embraced a broader team of professionals, nor has it created a Fortune 500-level corporate bureaucracy, the kind that might serve as a model for, say, a national political machine.
A faux version of the Trump Organization was presented to the world in “The Apprentice,” the hit reality TV show. But the show’s weekly tutorials were about anything but team-building. Instead, contestants were invited to scheme against one another in a predatory elimination tournament that had them dodging the paterfamilias’s ritual executions (on a set passed off as the Trump Organization’s “boardroom”).
* Perhaps that explains what Josh Marshall wrote today about the Trump campaign.
So beyond the impulse control deficit and other deficiencies of the candidate, critical parts of running a national campaign aren’t being tended to – having a person in charge of running the campaign, a coordinate communications strategy, organizing field operations. As we get into the meat of the campaign, that will start showing up in running disasters, mishaps and discovery that various tasks were simply never done.
…This is how you end up announcing a major policy address on the campaign’s central issue [read: immigration], abruptly canceling the address, then having the candidate pull the plug on a central campaign agenda item and then a couple days later try to plug it back in.
* One more disaster in the Trump campaign:
L.A. Co. Superior Ct official confirms to NBC News Stephen Bannon was arrested & charged in connection w/ a 1996 domestic violence incident.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 26, 2016
* Today Paul Krugman took on Trump’s dystopian views about “midnight in America.”
Back when the Trump campaign was ostensibly about the loss of middle-class jobs, it was at least pretending to be about a real issue: Employment in manufacturing really is way down; real wages of blue-collar workers have fallen. You could say that Trumpism isn’t the answer (it isn’t), but not that the issue was a figment of the candidate’s imagination.
But when Mr. Trump portrays America’s cities as hellholes of runaway crime and social collapse, what on earth is he talking about? Urban life is one of the things that has gone right with America. In fact, it has gone so right that those of us who remember the bad old days still find it hard to believe…
Which brings us back to the notion of America as a nightmarish dystopia. Taken literally, that’s nonsense. But today’s increasingly multiracial, multicultural society is a nightmare for people who want a white, Christian nation in which lesser breeds know their place. And those are the people Mr. Trump has brought out into the open.
* If Hillary Clinton wins in November, she will be our country’s first female POTUS. But Ron Brownstein points to another way her victory will be historic.
Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the six presidential elections since 1992. (In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College and the White House to George W. Bush.) If Clinton maintains her consistent advantage in national and swing-state polls through Election Day, that means Democrats will have won the popular vote in six of the past seven presidential campaigns.
* Yesterday the National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday. To commemorate the occasion, White House photographer Pete Souza posted some of his favorite pictures of President Obama visiting national parks and monuments. Here’s one of my favorites:
Sasha has grown up a bit since that one was taken. But it’s pretty clear that she will always be able to count on the fact that Dad has her back.
* Finally, the Obama administration made another big announcement today.
President Obama created the largest protected area on the planet Friday, by expanding a national marine monument off the coast of his native Hawaii to encompass 582,578 square miles of land and sea.
The move, which more than quadruples the size of the Papahānaumokuākea (pronounced “Papa-ha-now-moh-koo-ah-kay-ah”) Marine National Monument that President George W. Bush established a decade ago, underscores the extent to which Obama has elevated the issues of conservation and climate change in his second term. Obama has now used his executive authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect more than 548 million acres of federal land and water, more than double what any of his predecessors have done.
Here is a great video the Washington Post put together for the occasion. What strikes me is that we should probably start including this kind of thing when talking about this President’s legacy on climate change.