The penultimate Sunday before Election Day brings us … a lot of chatter about Election Day, as you might expect. It’s surrogates galore on the talk shows, with RNC chairman Ronna McDaniel set for “Fox News Sunday” to discuss Trump’s narrowing path to a second term and what the hell happened to that $1.5 billion war chest they amassed. Also appearing on Trump’s behalf is Corey Lewandowski, who’ll talk with “Meet the Press” about the big vote, and Mark Meadows, who’s set for “State of the Union.” Meadows might be the one to watch this morning and not just because he has a wide portfolio — the election, the interminable stimulus negotiations with Nancy Pelosi, and whatever the latest White House spin is on surging COVID cases. This could be his last appearance on Sunday morning as White House chief of staff, as neither Trump nor anyone else in the party seems happy with him right now.
It’s not just Parscale getting blamed for Trump’s predicament. Some Republican officials are also angry at Meadows for how he managed Trump’s hospitalization. The chief of staff undercut the White House messaging when he told reporters early on that Trump was “still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
The statement initiated a damaging news cycle, forcing the administration to assure the nation that Trump was in stable condition.
Officials also blame Meadows for not doing more to rein in Trump. Among the complaints: That he should have tried to stop Trump from giving Bob Woodward practically unfettered access as the pandemic intensified, and that he erred in encouraging Trump to hold in-person rallies. Others question why Meadows has so far failed to deliver in congressional negotiations on a coronavirus relief package and worry the inability to get checks to voters could damage the president in the election.
Trump was reportedly furious at Meadows for contradicting his doctors during his hospitalization at Walter Reed. If the president loses on November 3, he’s apt to turn his fury on deputies whom he believes failed him. Meadows is an obvious target.
For the Democrats this morning, it’ll be Nancy Pelosi on “State of the Union” to update the nation for the 8,000th time on the status of stimulus talks with the White House. And following her on that program will be none other than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s kept a low profile over the past few months so as not to spook swing voters about a socialist takeover of government if they opt for Biden. AOC will be on to reiterate her support for Sleepy Joe, in case there are any progressives out there still lukewarm about turning out, and to whine about her political enemies calling her “AOC” even though she’s embraced that term since the start of her political career. Oh, and she’ll also weigh in on Biden’s statement at the debate that he’s looking to phase out the oil industry, which plays well with Ocasio-Cortez’s DSA base but not so well with fencesitters in Texas and other states. The full line-up is at the AP.