Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He declared that Roy Moore's loss meant that he had been "right" all along.

In the aftermath of Doug Jones upset victory in Alabama last night, Trump--or someone with access to his Twitter account--wrote an uncharacteristically diplomatic tweet congratulating Jones on a "hard fought victory." Seven hours later, at a time of day generally associated with angry tweets from Trump, came a very different message. In it, Trump absolved himself of any responsibility for Moore's defeat:
In fact, Trump was electrified by the Moore candidacy and began working on Moore's behalf even before the primary was over. Trump endorsed Strange, but complained "mightily" before and after the primary that he would rather have backed Moore from the start and blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for manipulating him into throwing his weight behind Strange. Even then, his endorsement of Strange was bizarrely qualified: just days before the primary, at a rally for Strange, Trump said about his choice of candidates, "I might have made a mistake. I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake." He then praised Moore and promised to campaign just as hard for him if he won.

During the general election campaign, Trump recorded robo-calls for Moore, endorsed him after a sex scandal involving his alleged sexual contacts with underage girls broke, held campaign rallies in Alabama media markets, and tweeted his encouragement to "VOTE ROY MOORE!" or similar sentiments five times. He also made sure that Moore once again began to receive money from the Republican National Committee, which had been withdrawn after the child sex allegations came to light.

Why should I care about this?

  • There's nothing inherently wrong with backing a losing candidate, but a president who sets as much store by loyalty as Trump does should probably demonstrate some.