Everyone associated with the Trump campaign is being asked the same question every time they show up in the vicinity of a microphone this week. Why isn’t he conceding the race? Oh, wait. That’s not quite right. What they’re really being asked is, “WHY ISN’T HE CONCEDING THE RACE?!?!?!11!”
That was the case with Trump senior advisor Jason Miller when he showed up on the Fox Business Network today. While he had a few more specifics to offer, his initial response really says it all. The word “concede” isn’t even in their vocabulary at the moment. (Politico)
“That word is not even in our vocabulary right now,” Miller said in an interview on Fox Business.
“We’re going to go and pursue all these legal means, all the recount methods,” he said. “We’re going to continue exposing and investigating all these instances of fraud or abuse, and make sure … [that] the American public can have full confidence in these elections.”
Trump has refused to concede since the election was called for Biden on Saturday, after the former vice president flipped the key swing state of Pennsylvania and secured more than the 270 electoral votes needed to claim victory.
It was the phrasing of the question that Miller should have taken issue with as much as the suggestion that the Trump team is somehow doing something wrong or destroying our democracy or whatever. The question was once again bundled with the phrase “after the Democratic nominee was declared the winner of the 2020 White House race.”
Let’s try to get one thing clear here. Joe Biden was “declared the winner” by the press. The number of electoral college votes he is quoted as having at this point is a projection, also being stated by the media. If we wanted to get truly technical about this, Joe Biden (assuming nothing shocking happens during any recounts or court challenges) will not technically be “the winner” until the votes of the electors are unsealed and read before a joint session of Congress on January 6th. At that point, assuming he has 270 or more, he will be the President-elect.
Do I think that any recounts or court challenges will stack up enough changes to the current tallies to swing the election back to Donald Trump? To borrow a phrase from the President himself, not particularly. You’d need to make a pretty compelling case to get a court to overturn a statewide election. And as for the recounts, they rarely flip a state where the margin is more than one percent.
But at the same time, I don’t own a functional crystal ball. If the man wants to go through the recounts and is willing to pay for the process (where required) then that’s his right. And if there are credible allegations that there may have been election fraud on a scale that could tip one of the states in the other direction, we’re pretty much obligated to investigate that. As I said, it strikes me as unlikely and probably a low percentage bet at best, but this is 2020. Would that be the weirdest thing to happen this year? Or even this month?
More than anything else, I think Miller is just dealing with the reality of his job. Anyone who has been watching the Trump administration for the entire time he’s been in office knows how he operates. He’s not a quitter. If he believes he’s been wronged he swings back and he rarely if ever apologizes. Assuming he eventually loses these challenges, I’m confident that Donald Trump will begin the transition process. But unlike the month of March, if Donald Trump came in like a lion he’s going to be going out like one too.