It’s been almost two months since the 2020 presidential election was called for Joe Biden, which is to say it’s been almost two months since the Four Seasons Total Landscaping debacle — a clown show so ridiculous it almost dwarfed the day’s bigger news. At the time it was hard to get a straight answer on what happened. Was it a miscommunication? Was it Trump’s fault? Rudy Giuliani’s fault? A new piece by New York’s Olivia Nuzzi makes it seem even more chaotic than it did originally. But one thing’s for certain: Giuliani is somehow even more of a mess than we thought.
Nuzzi spoke with 37 sources for her report, and — understandably! — she couldn’t get anyone to confirm a clear story on how the Four Seasons mishegoss happened and who was to blame. Some say the now-notorious Philadelphia press conference was supposed to take place at the prestigious Union League; others at the United Republican Club. One staffer simply said, “Honest to God, I have no idea how that came about.” All that’s clear (or clearer) is the Trump administration is a chaotic shambles. Perhaps that’s the closest to an explanation we’ll ever get.
But Giuliani certainly doesn’t help. Nuzzi says that, shortly after Election Day, campaign staffers said that the former New York City mayor was, at that point, “becoming more and more of a problem.” (That is to say, even more than previously, of course.) As the Trump team tried to keep it together, both before and after Election Day, they found themselves distracted. By Rudy:
But in the final sprint to Election Day, managing the known unknowns of Giuliani’s endless capacity to f*ck up so much that he was often at the center of several personal and international legal dramas at once was consuming time and manpower at campaign headquarters when there was little left to spare. “We were spending hours each day trying to prevent Rudy from creating a disaster,” a senior campaign official said. “Hours and hours.”
And so staffers who had bigger fish to fry were instead, Nuzzi says, “focused on devising ways to distract the once celebrated mayor of New York City.” This description only adds to Giuliani’s embarrassing mystique: “In the office he was a nuisance, but out of sight he was a terror.”
Keeping Giuliani out of the office but in sight was one reason he was sent to Philadelphia, where absentee ballots — whose early counting had been forbidden by state Republican lawmakers — were slowly being tallied, and were clearly tipping the state towards Biden. But instead of keeping quiet, he wound up presiding — though perhaps not instigating — the first of many post-Election Day Rudy embarrassments. (Not even melting goo sliding down his head at another disastrous presser could top the Four Seasons one.)
It may take much longer into a post-Trump America — and, reminder, as of this writing he still has yet to concede — for us to get a straight answer on how the world came to know the name of an obscure landscaping business, located far from the heart of Philadelphia’s Center City. But the lack of a clear answer — and the continued presence of Rudy Giuliani — is its own explanation. Perhaps there will be no more damning takedown of what’s wrong with the outgoing administration than this turn of phrase from Nuzzi: “It’s hard to know what counts as a f*ckup when you work for Donald Trump.”
(Via New York)