President Donald Trump touched down in New Hampshire Monday on the eve of the state’s primary to, as he tweeted beforehand, “shake up the Dems a little bit.” Trump, who’s technically on the ballot Tuesday, held a rally in Manchester in an effort to deflect some of the spotlight—and headlines—from the Democratic race. Fair play. It’s a tried-and-true tactic, and an understandable one, though most U.S. presidents have refrained from engaging with non-nominees of the opposing party by name because, well, they were the president. Why elevate Dennis Kucinich? That is not how Trump operates, obviously. He needs as many boogeymen and vanquished foes as he can conjure.
Trump, of course, has never been one for larger principles or the greater good or fairness for that matter. Or anything that doesn’t suit his immediate self-interest. So it should perhaps be unsurprising that Trump’s campaign is also kinda hoping that his visit to the state will make it harder for Democrats to do their civic duty of seeing and evaluating their potential representatives before casting their votes. The Associated Press reports:
“Advisers hoped that Secret Service moves in Manchester to secure the area for president would make it harder for Democratic candidates and their supporters to transverse the state’s largest city in the hours before the primary’s first votes are cast.”
“At the rally, he urged New Hampshire independents who support him—people are allowed to vote in either party’s primary—to instead back ‘the weakest’ Democratic candidate Tuesday,” according to the AP. “He also again trafficked in the unfounded conspiracy theory that buses of illegal voters traveled in from Massachusetts in 2016 to deprive him of a New Hampshire victory.”
Trump’s better angels will be smoking a cigarette out back on Election Day.