Do you have any idea how much easy blog content over the next 12 months just went down the toilet?
We’re talking hundreds of man-hours that could have been devoted to lazy goofs on Avenatti’s no-shot campaign that will now have to be spent on actual news, requiring serious thought. It’s the difference between looking forward to a year of playing “Red Dead Redemption 2” and suddenly looking forward to a year of sitting through powerpoints on insurance.
Nah, I’m just kidding. In the Trump era virtually all news involves lazy online goofing, usually starting with the president himself. Besides, the Avenatti campaign couldn’t have been any sillier and less likely to succeed than the Elizabeth Warren campaign will be.
Please see my statement below regarding 2020. pic.twitter.com/ztCfZUY6hA
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 4, 2018
Said lawyer James Hasson of Avenatti’s chances, “This feels a lot like a random high school athlete holding a press conference to announce his decision to skip the NBA draft and go to college.”
When did Avenatti arrive at this conclusion, exactly? As recently as yesterday he was tweeting garbage like this:
In one breath, certain media outlets state I will have no bearing on the 2020 race and am not a threat. But they continue to write click bait “hit pieces” meant to discredit me. Which one is it, bc it can’t be both? If I’m not a threat, go do pieces on other “viable” candidates.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 3, 2018
Note the emphasis he places in his statement on the claim that his family asked him not to do it. Maybe that’s just a convenient fig leaf: Given his run of trouble lately, from the domestic violence arrest to a temporary falling-out with Stormy to seemingly endless headaches involving debt, he’d already begun to lose political hires. But it’s possible that he’s telling the truth. This bit from the Daily Beast’s long look yesterday at his many problems caught my eye:
Then, on Friday, the pugnacious attorney is ordered to appear in Orange County Superior Court for a debtor’s examination related to unpaid child and spousal support in his divorce, records show. According to one September court filing, Avenatti owes his ex-wife more than $1 million. Asked for comment, Avenatti would only say, “Not accurate. There is nothing scheduled.”
Maybe his exes and children begged him to reconsider running, having already gotten a taste of unwanted publicity of the family’s dirty laundry.
Or maybe there’s been an unfavorable development in the domestic violence case against him? There’s a hearing in that matter next week, the Daily Beast notes. Quitting the presidential race for fear of an unfavorable outcome in a court proceeding doesn’t sound like him, though, as this is a guy who thinks he’s unbeatable as a litigator. If he were going to give up his presidential dream due to a domestic violence conviction, he’d force the state to actually get that conviction first.
This logic is also way, way too sober and reasonable for Avenatti:
Avenatti was polling at 1 percent. His handling of Julie Swetnick was a disaster. He was recently charged with domestic violence. He doesn't have Trump's instincts and Democrats don't have an appetite for a Trump-like candidate. He would have lost badly and embarrassed himself.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 4, 2018
Silver could have written a tweet just like that (and probably did, actually) for Trump circa early 2015, listing his many personal and professional failures and his total mismatch with conservative orthodoxy. Even if Avenatti does suspect that his run would have ended in defeat and embarrassment, he surely wasn’t going to settle on that conclusion in December 2018. He would have spent a few months on the trail first, just to see if he couldn’t brawl his way to the nomination. Something has clearly happened behind the scenes to force him to change his plans suddenly. Maybe it’s family pressure. Maybe it’s something else.