After a poor week in the polls and the release of his controversial digital trading cards, Donald Trump faces new questions about his political influence.
The former president enters the holiday season on a sour note, as his 2024 comeback presidential campaign shows few signs of gaining traction and he seems to have lost at least some of his once-revered political touch.
A House committee investigating the assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6 may also recommend criminal charges against him for inciting the riot on Monday.
Trump, who announced his candidacy last month, had already failed to respond forcefully to widespread criticism of his role in the underwhelming performance of the Republican Party in the midterm elections.
He received a double-whammy of poor poll results last week
According to both polls, Trump trails Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by a significant margin in the race for Republican primary voters, which is expected to begin later in 2019. In one, he was shown losing badly in a rematch against President Joe Biden.
However, the worst injury of the week was self-inflicted.
Trump informed his supporters on Wednesday to expect a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!” the following day. “American needs a superhero!” he continued.
It was speculated that he would make a major announcement to revive his struggling White House campaign, or even run for House Speaker in the new Congress.
Instead, Trump announced the release of a set of digital trading cards depicting himself in various heroic poses as a cartoon for $99 each.
The Trump cards are nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which are stored on internet platforms and have unique identifiers that prevent them from being copied, forged, or stolen, according to the company.
The head fake was immediately mocked by Democrats and liberals, who deemed it “gross” and worse.
President Biden, who is not known for being an effective social media troll, boasted about his year-end “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS,” which included lowering gas prices, maintaining economic growth, and protecting same-sex marriages.
Perhaps even more worrisome for Trump was the dismay expressed by his normally loyal MAGA supporters. Clearly, they anticipated the type of political bombshell that has become a staple of Trump’s strategy.
Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser, stated on a right-wing video program, “Whoever advised him on that, I’d fire them immediately,”
Steve Bannon, a right-wing firebrand, criticized the launch, claiming that it would undermine the MAGA message that Biden’s policies threaten the existence of Americans.
“I love the folks down there (at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort), but we’re at war,” Bannon said in a podcast interview. They ought to be fired.
Others questioned Trump’s embrace of NFTs, particularly since the demise of FTX.com, when enthusiasm for crypto assets has diminished.
On Friday, it was reported that the initial 45,000 NFT cards were quickly sold out, and prices on secondary markets were rising rapidly. This alleviated some of the financial concerns surrounding the NFTs.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) suggested that Trump’s deteriorating public image is the result of a belated realization that he is a better con artist than political leader.
The Senate majority leader told CNN, “The American people have gotten wise to him, It took a while. But they are onto him.”