Donald Trump Loses 'Swagger,' Botches Campaign Takeoff: Analyst

·4 min read

Instead of “taking off like a rocket” after his announcement last month that he’s running again for the presidency, Donald Trump instead appears to be “blowing up on the launchpad,” Guardian political analyst David Smith quipped in an unforgiving story Friday.

While Trump’s blunt-speaking angry-man schtick might have appeared fresh and new the first time he campaigned, the “swagger of 2016 has given way to somnolence in 2022,” said Smith, who also pointed out Trump’s host of legal trouble, dismal GOP performance in the midterms, and his own appalling “self sabotage.”

Trump followed his shocking dinner last month at Mar-a-Lago with antisemitic Kanye West — who now goes by Ye — and his white supremacist and Holocaust-denying pal Nick Fuentes with a call to terminate the Constitution so he could be anointed president.

Smith’s attack was just the latest in the press about Trump’s lackluster campaign launch, which many have seen as the sorriest among candidates in a long time.

Trump has barely left Mar-a-Lago, except to play golf at his own nearby course, since his campaign announcement, The Washington Post reported. He’s largely ensconced in a hermetically sealed echo chamber of sycophants, spiraling into another dimension and “increasingly isolated within his party,” the newspaper noted — and alienating voters.

Even conservatives are fed up.

“The former president presents our biggest risk of losing for 2024, and conservatives are tired of losing,” Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowa-based conservative group Family Leader, told the Post. “Even the former president’s announcement is being greeted like it never happened. There’s no buzz amongst my network at all.”

After Trump was roundly blasted for hosting Ye — who later told Alex Jones on his podcast that he “likes” Hitler and “loves” Nazis — Trump doubled down on Friday, saying it was the complaining Jewish community that should be “ashamed” for being disloyal to him because he was such a friend to Israel.

“It couldn’t be going any worse,” Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University in Washington, told The Guardian about Trump’s new campaign. “And it’s not because Donald Trump is making mistakes. It’s because Donald Trump is being Donald Trump.”

Trump was “something new and fresh and interesting back in 2016,” Lichtman said. But he has since “presided over three disastrous election cycles for Republicans in 2018, 2020 and 2022, and he’s the same old Donald Trump, caring only about himself, wrapped up in his own grievances and his own whining. It’s just not playing anymore for the American people.”

Trump’s critical niece, Mary Trump, believes her uncle is changing — he’s getting worse, and traveling further “down the rabbit hole,” she told MSNBC host Alex Witt on Saturday. (Check out the video below).

“Everything Donald does is transactional,” said Mary Trump, who’s a psychologist. “One of the things we need to realize about him is he is sort of a black hole of need. And when he’s not getting what he wants from some people — I think in this case the majority of the Republicans in Congress who have had enough and sort of see him as electoral poison — he will go wherever he needs to in order to get his fix, which is attention and sycophancy.”

It “doesn’t matter how extreme; [it’s] whatever works,” she continued. “This has been going on since 2015. The difference is that he just needs to go farther and farther down the rabbit hole because fewer and fewer people are willing to stand up for him publicly.”

Taylor Budowich, head of the MAGA Inc. super PAC supporting Trump, told the Washington Post that Trump will step on the campaign gas — soon.

“President Trump entered the race three weeks ago ready to win and he is going to do exactly that — no amount of wishful thinking from the media ... will change it,” he Budowich said.

Trump is “building one of the most ruthless and talented teams in American politics, and he is the only person in the country who is ready and capable of reversing America’s decline,” Budowich said.