Does President Trump still want to win? Where’s the mojo?
Well, does President Donald Trump approve of what news media are calling the “white power video,” or doesn’t he?
That burning question arose after the president retweeted a video over the weekend showing a few residents of The Villages, a huge central Florida retirement community, jeering at a parade of Trump supporters in golf carts.
As the jeers turn ugly with shouts of “neo-Nazi” and the like, one Trump-supporting white man with a defiant smile holds up a fist and twice shouts “white power,” according to a later White House account.
Three hours later, after public pleas from other Republicans, including South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the Senate’s only Black Republican, the tweet was deleted.
But anyone listening for a denunciation of the “white power” chant would hear only crickets — and one more unforced error by a president who lately has made a virtually unbroken string of them.
At a time when he expected to be getting his reelection campaign act together and taking it on the road, Trump was sidetracked by two crises: the coronavirus “plague,” as he likes to call it, and the national racial reckoning that has blown up on various streets and other fronts since the video-recorded death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer on his neck.
Trump, who long has claimed to be a “stable genius” with answers for everything, responded to these crises by making them worse.
He responded to mostly peaceful protests by denouncing them as “terrorists,” “antifa” and “looters.”
He responded to the coronavirus pandemic with daily televised briefings that, in a glaring display of his aversion to doing his homework, showed the world how long he could ramble to the cameras and throw tantrums at reporters and muse, to the horror of his medical experts, about such things as the possible value of taking disinfectant internally to fight the virus. (Note: Don’t do it, folks!)
Eager to get back on the road, he held a Tulsa, Okla., rally where fewer than a third of the arena’s 19,000 seats were occupied. That seemed to be a wake-up call, if not by much. The always-campaigning Trump that we used to know seems to have lost some of his mojo.