Omarosa Manigault Newman called. She called Anthony Scaramucci. She wants her backstabbing, ingrate public profile back.
Michael Cohen called—having gotten an outside line on his cell-block. He called Scaramucci. He wants rights to the title of chump-change Benedict Arnold back.
But Mr. Trump’s eleven-day communications director will not be dissuaded from besting these losers at a loser’s game. “Mooch” is nearing the fourteen-and-seconds-to-go mark of his political fifteen minutes. His gambit? To assemble a cohort of disgruntled or unsupportive former associates of President Trump and conjure up a phantom candidate to primary a man who currently enjoys an 85-90 percent approval rating among Republicans.
He’s apparently hoping to shanghai some Evan McMullin-type and dupe him into staging an electoral “Hail, Mary” challenge to the president.
Omarosa, who might have peaked as a regional marketing director for the PetSmart retail chain had Trump not dredged her out of obscurity, claimed the president was unstable and had used the “n” word, though she herself had never heard him say it. She was selling a book.
For the shady Cohen, it was a fabric of lies meant to somehow suggest that Trump was playing fast and loose with the truth. Like Omarosa, he flamed out in his efforts to become a Trump administration player, and is now doing time.
Scaramucci’s explosive fabrication: that Donald Trump is headed for a behavioral “nuclear meltdown.” This from a media gadfly who says whatever the host of the moment seems to want to hear, and never quite gets it right.
To the profound perplexity of Trump’s loyal legions in flyover America, Mooch, a Wall Street hedge fund manager, was handed the duties of putting the commander-in-chief’s best foot forward in the crucial department of communicating to the nation’s preponderantly and blatantly biased press entities, and by extension to the American people. Why Trump would allow this inexperienced “funds of funds” manager anywhere near his high echelon is one of those cognitive vacuums, like Omarosa, that is difficult to wrap one’s head around.
It is common knowledge that knowledgeable politicos like Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus bridled at the notion of hiring Mooch for a such a sensitive and demanding post.
Their considered skepticism has been unquestionably validated by Mooch’s latest rantings as he makes the media rounds. He has predicted that Trump will abandon his quest for reelection, somewhere around “March,” because by then Trump will understand that “it will be impossible for him to win.” Mooch seems convinced this will happen, but can only wax cryptically about who he might have in mind to take the president on.
Best case appraisal for all concerned: Trump had real estate and legal pals aplenty when he was a builder and mogul on his way to becoming a reality star. Such associates went with the territory. But an executive decision-maker can’t offer plum assignments to the wrong people. If they do, the executive shouldn’t be surprised when, after they’ve issued a trickle-down “You’re fired,” the disappointed incompetents turn around and embarrasses the hell out of themselves and everybody else. In the theater of presidential governance, you’ve got to get the best and brightest bulbs, the sharpest, most experienced tacks. You’ve got to have good instincts about who can be counted on for loyalty.
Who does Scaramucci think he’s going to lure into his cadre of disloyal opposition? The most anyone who returns his phone calls can hope for is to become fodder for Bill Maher, who will likely pause his Trump-bashing long enough to call this effort out for the quixotical lunacy it is.
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? General Mad Dog Mattis? These men had legitimate differences with Donald Trump, and comported themselves like professionals when the bloom went off the rose. Jeff Sessions and his big recusal, not so much. But now, with full-scale election season on the horizon, any former Trump administration official who gets within a Don Lemon interview of Scaramucci’s windmill is flirting with the same fate that awaited Omarosa. PetSmart wouldn’t touch her now.
Actually, Omarosa might be one person who does return Mooch’s calls. Jeesh.
Like Reagan in 1984, Clinton in 1996, and Obama in 2012, Donald Trump will be the qualitatively unchallenged Republican nominee for a second term as president of the United States. We might get an oddball GOP vanity project that in retrospect makes old Harold Stassen look like a contender, but nobody will take such a development (or Scaramucci) seriously.
Kidding aside, Anthony Scaramucci has done some good things. It’s very possible that he has some redeeming aspects to his personality. He might very well be a raffish New York City example of a nice guy.
But proximity to power does strange things to people’s heads. And Mooch has lost proximity forever.
Scaramucci’s sad, embarrassing idea for a revenge run against the man under whom he rose to his level of incompetence will quietly slip off radar, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Mark Ellis the author of A Death on the Horizon, a novel of political upheaval and cultural intrigue. He came aboard at PJ Media in 2015. His literary hangout is Liberty Island. Follow Mark on Twitter.