FANTASY ISLAND: Politico Thinks Trump Might Drop Out

July 8th, 2020 2:25 PM

Politico is sounding a bit like Ricardo Montalbán in Fantasy Island. 

What is it with the media and President Donald Trump dropping out of the election contest fantasies? They seem to be cropping up quite a bit lately. One common thread of these wishful thinking projections is the claim that Trump is facing such a bleak election outlook that he will simply drop out of the race before the election.

The latest example of Trump dropping out wishful thinking comes to us in Wednesday's Politico in which John F. Harris and Daniel Lippman envision Trump conveniently doing the Democrats a big favor by sparing them the angst of going through a tough election process. This fantasy comes as a part but really the essential part of seven things they think could happen because 2020 is such an unusual year. 

The other silly possible outcomes they claim could happen are such things as Michael Pence being dumped from the ticket and Joe Biden getting sick. But at the very very top of their minds is, of course, Trump dropping out of the race. Not only is that fantasy at the top of their article but the lead of the title, "Trump drops out. Biden gets sick. Pence is fired. What if 2020 gets really crazy?"

The subtitle again sounds the theme of Trump in dire electoral straits: "The most norm-shattering leader in American history is bound to produce some surprises, especially with his reelection in peril." So if Trump is so sure to lose his re-election bid, why would our two Politico fantasists feel the urge to dream about him dropping out? Well, let us scroll down past them pontificating on how 2020 represents a sort of rip in the fabric of reality to their dearest, most precious desire: "Trump finds an exit."

One veteran Republican operative, close to many in the GOP’s donor class, said in the past couple weeks it's been stunning the extent to which people who have some association with Trump are speculating he might drop out of the race. “He doesn’t want to be a loser, and that’s all in jeopardy now,” this strategist said. “It’s less than 50-50 [Trump would pull himself off ticket] but I’m amazed at the amount of New Yorkers that are talking about this — his former friends. ... They think he’s looking for an excuse to get out.”

Which unnamed "veteran Republican operative" would that be? Rick Wilson? Steve Schmidt? George Conway? Any of those Never Trumpers would be a very good guess.

Worth emphasizing: This speculation is not coming from people claiming firsthand knowledge of Trump’s thinking in recent weeks, amid reports that he realizes that, on the current trajectory in national and swing-state polls, he is losing.

Therefore based on absolutely no evidence. Wishful thinking it is. Does anybody detect such panic among liberals about facing Trump in November that they are taking a bit of solace for now in the desperate hope he does them a favor by dropping out of the election race?