At what point do those on the Trump train willingly admit that they’re about to crash?
In the past several weeks, there has been an exodus from Trump’s team of staffers and those assigned to give his campaign an aura of professionalism.
Beginning with the firing of the Lilliputian campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, those rushing out the door behind him (or even just ahead of him) have been: Rick Wiley, Kevin Kellems, Erica Freeman, Vincent Harris – and now Barry Bennett.
Bennett came on board in what he deemed an “informal” role, after having served as Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign manager. The veteran Republican operative earlier along asserted that he was just there to point out strategies and advise the campaign on what to expect in the days ahead.
From the Washington Examiner today, however:
Bennett ended up doing a lot of TV appearances in which he was identified as a senior adviser to the Trump campaign. And then, in the last few days, Bennett has been identified as a former senior advisor to the Trump campaign. Quickly and quietly, Bennett became “former.”
For his part, Bennett is stressing that the decision to flee the sinking ship leave was a mutual one, and that as he’d signed no contract with the campaign and didn’t work at the Washington campaign office, it was a clean break.
Among GOP politicos not associated with the campaign, there’s a commonly-accepted explanation: As an organization, TrumpWorld is a mess. “Total dysfunction, zero plan, bifurcated leadership, and a principal who is so unwilling to be staffed it makes it impossible to have any self-respect, pride in your work or sense of accomplishment,” one veteran of many Republican campaigns told me.
The strategist blamed Lewandowski — actually, not the former campaign manager himself but the conditions that allowed him to prosper for so long. “No one experienced, professional, or qualified could work in a place where a ‘Corey type’ could thrive and be successful for a year,” the politico wrote. “It’s not rational. No one would hire Corey for field job on a congressional campaign in New Hampshire. This proves staff are hired to check boxes and appease the media that they’re ‘professionalizing’ the campaign.”
Look for others to leave in the coming days. No adviser, staffer, or operative who takes their future in politics seriously will want to be tainted by this campaign, and any who try to remain stoic sentinels, forging ahead in an effort to keep things moving, may find themselves unceremoniously shuttled off. That, or made the scapegoats for all that goes wrong in Trump’s self-absorbed, ego-driven farce of a campaign.
Stay tuned. We haven’t yet experienced the full horror of what’s to come from this national nightmare.