The extent to which the country’s worsening trajectory has overtaken the final days of the campaign emphasizes how the election has become a personal referendum on Trump and how he mishandled the worst domestic crisis in decades.
The roots of his current difficulties were bedded down months ago.
To win next Tuesday, the President will have to convince sufficient Americans to build an Electoral College majority that his populist anti-Washington message, cultural themes, hardline “law and order” rhetoric and claimed expertise in rebuilding the ravaged economy are more important than his botched choices on a pandemic that is getting worse every day.
“So glad this great GDP number came out before November 3rd,” Trump tweeted.
However, the failure to do more to lower the baseline of viral infections, apart from costing thousands of lives, means that new restrictions on bars, restaurants and other service industries are likely as the pandemic worsens that will threaten the recovery in the longer term — though those effects will unfold after the election.
Stock slump is another blow to Trump
While the coronavirus tightened its grip, the President tried to change the subject, seizing on violence in Philadelphia after another police shooting to blame Democrats for looting.
The President insisted he was doing “fantastically” in polls and was in better shape than four years ago. Trump appears, however, to face a complicated scenario on the electoral map that would require him to run the table on a string of Southern and Western battlegrounds before a final showdown with Biden in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The new recordings of Kushner’s interviews with Woodward for his book “Rage” show in the most intimate detail yet how the President and close aides marginalized government scientists earlier this year in a bid to push economic openings at all cost to help his reelection effort.
In a conversation on April 18, the President’s son-in-law told The Washington Post veteran that Trump was “getting the country back from the doctors” and referred to public health officials as if they were adversaries when he talked of a “negotiated settlement” with them.
Comprehensively misreading the situation, Kushner, who had no previous governing experience…