So there he was, the leader of the free world, the President of the United States of America, Donald John Trump behind the White House podium again, ready at long last to lead this country from the darkness of the pandemic he’s ignored and the economic collapse he’s created.
It was not, however, a press conference with much sizzle or, for that matter, steak. Trump seemed a bit lost, even when grinding his stolid way through the scripted portions of his performance. It was less his usual edge of fury and contempt, and more “I didn’t poop my diaper, Mommy.”
Of course, in the eyes of his fans and a few rubes, today Was the Day Donald Trump Finally Became President, Part 46,232. This was Trump desperately trying to play the role of president, as a D-grade actor might in a straight-to-video flick that makes Sharknado look like Lawrence of Arabia. It was a solo act, and likely will remain so; the sciency scientists who like science weren’t there to eye-roll, gasp, or contradict Dr. Trump, noted virologist.
Let’s be honest. The White House and campaign staff put him out there because they needed something—anything—to try to reset weeks and weeks of absolutely catastrophic campaign blunders, tone-deafness, managerial idiocy, and oppositional defiant disorder no-mask-for-me behavior. The campaign and professional staff are both desperate for any kind of reset not only to save their jobs in November but also to save their sanity. We all know he’s been bouncing off the damn walls since before his Tulsa disaster.
That unbelievable train wreck of a Chris Wallace interview wasn't what the White House had in mind, and Trump’s pissy performance on Sunday rapidly moved from painful to viral. Instead of a triumph, it ended with the world mocking Trump’s inability to understand just how buffoonish he appeared, even on the ostensibly friendly airwaves of Fox News. Sure, by now Chris Wallace is probably on his way to Gitmo, but not before giving Trump enough space and enough resistance to expose his embarrassing degree of disconnection from reality and whingy dickishness.
This is what it looks like when a media junkie president gets the shakes from withdrawal, when an addict who just can’t beat his need for the spotlight pretends to behave just long enough to get back out there.
The obvious power shifts inside the White House and Trump campaign in the past few days are now playing out in his public appearances. He clearly, finally had it beaten into his notoriously thick skull that his juvenile objections to masks were causing enormous political blowback.
That’s why on Tuesday he started the long retcon of his position on masks. Mark my words: The same Trump fanatics who spat on masks as a sign of capitulation to libtard cuck shill Soros antifa mind control last week will bob their slack jaws up and down when Trumps says something to the effect of “I invented the mask. No one had ever heard about masks before me, and when I invented masks, everyone said, ‘Sir. Sir. These masks are a miracle and you’ve saved us all, sir.’”
Except for one thing, and it might be a thing that makes a bigger splash than the rest of the entire performance combined. When asked about Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s friend and alleged fixer with whom Trump is exceedingly well acquainted, the president broke character and reverted to form:
“I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, and I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is,” Trump said.
Yeah. The president of the United States is sending good wishes to a woman who allegedly played a central role in a decades-long sexual abuse and exploitation ring. This isn’t some lurid QAnon Comet Pizza claptrap. Maxwell is credibly accused by federal prosecutors, and in a string of civil suits and media reports, of unspeakably sick acts.
Who says that? Who doesn’t wish her a long, miserable prison sentence, or simply dodge the question?
“I wish her well” could be code for “I have a vague memory of her in a room with tweens,” or it could mean “Keep it shut and you might get relief. Otherwise, Bill Barr has been known to take care of problems for me…”
Maxwell was a single moment of the Trumpian weirdness we’ve come to know and loathe in an otherwise dull presser. Who the hell knows what Wednesday will bring?