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He’s so good at this


The pileup of flukes that allowed Donald Trump to win the presidency has convinced him that he’s such a political SUPERGENIUS that he can, say, trick Bob Woodward into writing flattering profiles of him:

He offered lengthy meetings in the Oval Office and made phone calls at night from the White House — delivering Bob Woodward an unprecedented nine hours of access across 18 interviews.

Aides spent months fretting about President Donald Trump opening up to the famous Watergate journalist, fearing the consequences all the way through Wednesday’s bombshell revelations.

Trump bulldozed through them all, believing he could charm the man who helped take down a president and chronicled half a dozen administrations over the past half-century.

Now, Trump’s impulse may cost him as the interview transcripts and recordings are released this week, just under just eight weeks from Election Day and as some Americans start receiving mail-in ballots. The revelations in “Rage” have sent the Trump White House scrambling, with aides blaming one another for the predictable fallout from injecting even more chaos into an already challenging reelection race.

The quickest way to demonstrate Savvy is to say that no negative story about Trump will have any impact (bonus points if you’re a reporter or editor who spent 2016 assuming that the public had an inexhaustible appetite for stories about email servers and inane inside-baseball campaign gossip of no substantive or prurient interest.) But the thing is that Trump is losing. Last cycle he was able to overcome his low approval ratings because his opponent received an enormous amount of negative coverage, something that just isn’t happening this time. Anything that draws attention to his already highly unpopular handing of the pandemic is bad for him. And whatever one thinks of Woodward’s post-Watergate work he commands the attention of the rest of the press. Saying a bunch of highly incriminating things to him isn’t some galaxy-brained act of political genius, it’s just dumb.

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