It takes a long time for someone with an enormous ego to realize it’s over.
Just look at Hillary Clinton who some say is still planning to mount a comeback and try one more time to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. She’s convinced herself that were it not for Putin, Comey, Bernie, and Matt Lauer, she would have been the winner in 2016. And unless someone in her inner circle can slap her back into sanity before next summer, chances are good that she’s going to run. Like we said, big egos die hard.
But at least Hillary had a reasonable shot. At least she had some kind of political career.
That’s more than can be said for Michael Avenatti, the sleazy lawyer who became famous for exactly two things this year: Being Stormy Daniels’ attorney, and being willing to appear on television so often that it felt like he was trying to beat a Guinness Book record. None of that makes for a viable presidential candidate. But for some reason, Avenatti got so high on his sudden fame that he began to believe that he was the MAN. That he was the Sir Lancelot that could pull the sword from the stone and defeat Donald Trump. And so he headed to Iowa, started up a PAC, and began talking seriously about running for president.
And then things changed.
First, Avenatti made an unethical (and possibly illegal) attempt to jump into the Brett Kavanaugh debacle. After the weak accusations from Christine Blasey Ford and the even weaker accusations from Deborah Ramirez, Avenatti must have figured there were no allegations too outlandish to be believed. So he found a girl named Julie Swetnick and filed a sworn affidavit stating that Kavanaugh had prowled college parties in the 1980s, looking for women to drug and gang rape with his frat bro buddies. The accusations quickly crumbled when Swetnick herself, under the pressure of national TV, disavowed most of what she had written. Or at least, what Avenatti had written on her behalf.
Then Avenatti’s career started to unravel. A federal judge ordered the lawyer to pay $4.85 million in settled monies to a former colleague who has accused Avenatti of swindling him out of company profits for years.
Then his personal life, as he was arrested on a domestic violence charge following an altercation with his girlfriend in Los Angeles.
And then his public life, as TV networks and political organizations began quickly cancelling his appearances and distancing themselves from his now-toxic brand.
The cherry on top came last week, when Stormy Daniels herself told The Daily Beast that she was not pleased with Avenatti’s representation. Not only had Avenatti filed a defamation suit against President Trump against her wishes, he was fundraising on the internet without her knowledge.
“For months, I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense,” Daniels said. “He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf.”
All of which led Avenatti to tell Politico this week that he was more optimistic than ever about his chances in 2020.
“I think the field is shaping up to be even more advantageous for someone like me, not less,” Avenatti said. “I think my chances have only gone up, not gone down.”
That doesn’t sound right, but if it is…the Democrats have some real trouble on their hands going into the next election.