Trump could sign on to the mask thing: He won’t, but he could, and it would be smart
A Fox News report has President Trump’s inner circle wondering aloud if he might decide to drop out of the 2020 race rather than take his whupping.
It doesn’t have to be, of course.
All he has to do is tweet three words: “Wear a mask.”
Not saying he wins if he does that, but it would at least begin to turn the momentum.
Significantly, both have Biden at the crucial 50 percent threshold – RCP a tick under, at 49.5 percent, FiveThirtyEight at 50.6 percent.
Incumbents don’t come back from such deficits, but you didn’t need to be told that.
So, “Wear a mask.”
How does that help?
It defangs the main thrust of criticism being thrown at Trump now, which is that he’s not taking COVID-19 seriously.
The recent spate of cases in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California seem to be largely asyptomatics, due to massively increased testing of hospital patients and the efforts of contact tracers, and if the demographic trends hold true – the spikes have largely come among the young, for whom the survival rate is well above 99.9 percent – it could very well be that the worst is behind us.
But you can see where this is going politically.
The states that are doing the best at managing COVID-19 now are run by Democratic governors, where the consistent messaging in recent weeks has been, wear a mask to stop the spread.
The science on masks isn’t settled, but nothing over the past four months has been about the actual science.
We’ve all been figuring things out as we’ve gone along, which is how to best explain the confusing messaging on masks, which at first we were told weren’t going to be helpful, then later were told would be, before still later being informed that they were so helpful that they were now being required.
Which, OK, so now the masks are what will save us.
What does it hurt for Trump to sign on?
Co-opting the other side’s messaging is smart politics.
Think: Bill Clinton stealing the budget deficit issue from Ross Perot in 1992.
Here’s where we get to the crux of the problem for Trump: he’s not wired to allow himself to ever admit that he was wrong about something.
He can file for bankruptcy multiple times, but he’s even rationalized that as just being a smart businessman.
This is why I buy the leaks from the inner circle about him thinking about dropping out of the race as being more than mindless chirping.
For a guy who can’t concede that bankruptcy is taking an L, quitting before getting landslided is peak owning the libs.
Story by Chris Graham