Conservative columnist Cal Thomas tuned in for the president’s recent rally in Tulsa, and he didn’t like what he heard.
The speech was way too much about personality, he said, and not enough about policy.
“It’s not about him, it’s about us – we, the people, not you the president,” Thomas wrote. “The presidency is an honor and privilege that has been granted to only 45 men in our history. With great privilege comes great responsibility. We are better than this. We deserve better than this.”
The Wall Street Journal editorial board voiced similar frustrations.
“President Trump may soon need a new nickname for ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden,” the editorial board wrote. “How does President-elect sound? On present trend that’s exactly what Mr. Biden will be on Nov. 4, as Mr. Trump heads for what could be an historic repudiation that would take the Republican Senate down with him.”
Some conservatives, of course, are hoping for exactly that. A group calling itself Republican Voters Against Trump is producing ads featuring messages like this one from a guy named Josh from North Carolina.
“If Joe Biden drops out and the DNC runs a tomato can, I will vote for the tomato can because I believe the tomato can will do less harm than our current president,” he said.
The effort is led by Sarah Longwell, executive director of a group called Defending Democracy Together.
“People need to see other people like themselves,” she told CNN. “The whole point of the project is for people to credibly make their case to other people. Trust in the media is down, trust in politicians is down. The people who they trust are people like them.”
And then, of course, there’s The Lincoln Project. Among that organization’s founders is Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican political strategist who worked on the presidential campaign of John McCain.
“Donald Trump has been the worst president this country has ever had,” Schmidt said during a recent appearance on MSNBC. “And I don’t say that hyperbolically. He is.”
And don’t forget Anthony Scaramucci, whose Right Side PAC also aims to deny the president a second term.
“Trump has hijacked this party, but there’s going to be a reckoning,” Scaramucci told Newsweek.
In the meantime, the president’s supporters and potential supporters wait to hear what the president would hope to achieve in a second term. Sean Hannity asked about that during a Fox News town hall.
“Well, one of the things that will be really great, …” the president said before meandering off in another direction. “You know the word experience is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that. But the word experience is very important. It’s a very important meaning.”
And then he took another turn.
“I never did this before,” he said. “I never slept in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times. All of a sudden I’m president of the United States. You know the story. I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our first lady, and I say, ‘This is great.’ But I didn’t know very many people in Washington. It wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. Now I know everybody. And I have some great people in the administration. You make some mistakes, like you know an idiot like Bolton. All he wanted to do is drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to kill people.”
So what would the president do in a second term? It’s entirely possible he doesn’t know.
Kelly Hawes is a columnist for CNHI News Indiana. He can be reached at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter @Kelly_Hawes.