Politico is reporting that the Trump campaign and top GOP officials are having a “come to Jesus meeting” in Orlando today.
But will a meeting be enough to get the Trump camp back on track after two solid weeks of self-inflicted wounds, flailing organization, and polling numbers approaching wipe-out territory?
Though a campaign source dismissed it as a “typical” gathering, others described it as a more serious meeting, with one calling it an “emergency meeting.” It comes at a time of mounting tension between the campaign and the Republican National Committee, which is facing pressure to pull the plug on Trump’s campaign and redirect party funds down ballot to protect congressional majorities endangered by Trump’s candidacy.
The request for the Orlando Ritz Carlton meeting originated with Trump’s campaign, according to a source familiar with the broad details, and is being viewed by RNC officials as a sign that the campaign has come to grips with the difficulty it is having in maintaining a message and running a ground game.
“They want to patch up a rift that just keeps unfolding,” one source said. “They finally realize they need the RNC for their campaign because, let’s face it, there is no campaign.”
Politico reports that RNC officials are warning of “staff problems and disagreements [with the Trump campaign] and RNC staff on the edge of mutiny.”
That’s particularly evident in must-win Florida, the nation’s biggest battleground state, where Trump’s campaign has only one field office and no visible footprint otherwise. It plans to open 25 offices by early September, but rank-and-file Republican Party members and candidates are worried that Hillary Clinton’s team is building a robust campaign across the state.
Al Cardenas, a former Florida Republican party chairman, told Politico that “in Florida, usually, by this time, we’d have 10 field offices set up, but right now, there is only one.”
It’s possible (though based on the campaign’s track record, unlikely) that Trump’s team can manage to put the organizational infrastructure in place to power a major Get Out the Vote operation by November. What isn’t likely is that this, or any, RNC meeting can convince the Republican nominee to stop shooting himself in the foot and pivot to a winning message.
As Jonah chronicled last week, those still hoping for the legendary just-around-the-bend Trump change are only “Waiting for the Pivot at the End of the Universe.”