There are two main visions of Jared Kushner. There's the mystifying one that Trump has, where he refers to Kushner as a genius and assigns him impossibly lofty duties like "solving the Israeli Palestinian conflict" despite Kushner having as much experience in geopolitical diplomacy as the average golden retriever. Then there's the version the public has of Kushner -- a spoiled rich boy who not only had everything handed to him, from his businesses to his current political positions but is also a gaffe-prone incompetent buffoon.
But I'm here to offer a third vision of Kushner. It's a vision that doesn't invalidate the other two, but in fact, might necessitate them, or at least aspects of them. I'd like to propose that Jared Kushner is essentially a crash test dummy, and not just because he looks like one.
Recently, in an interview with TIME, as shown in the tweet above, Kushner was asked if the November 3rd election could be postponed due to Coronavirus. Kushner waffled at an answer, ultimately hinting that there was indeed a possibility that the election could be delayed. He then issued a clarification stating, "I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of any discussions about trying to change the date of the presidential election." Kushner's statement and then further correction just became more fuel for the bumbling idiot narrative. But that narrative fails to address how Kushner was able to trial balloon the idea of postponing the presidential election -- which is some real potentially democracy breaking shit -- while also taking all of the flack that normally would have flown Trump's way. You're laughing at the fool while still having to listen to him.
I don't want to get too conspiratorial about this. Maybe it is true that Trump or the administration intentionally sets Kushner up to trial balloon their least palpable ideas. Kushner, for example, in regards to states using the Strategic Federal Stockpile of medical equipment said, "The notion of the federal stockpile was it's supposed to be our stockpile. It's not supposed to be state's stockpiles that they then use." Kushner got a lot of shit for this as, you know, people are dying, but then a day later, after the public was done beating up on Pee Wee's more evil twin, the White House changed their website to reflect Kushner's statement.
But I think it's more likely that rather than Kushner being an active participant in trial ballooning, he's just a very useful idiot in a sea of useful idiots. Trump doesn't send Kushner to solve the opioid crisis because he thinks Jared posses the big-boy-brains to solve it. He does it because that job looks really hard, but we have to look busy, so why not send my son-in-law. Jared is Mace Tyrell being sent to Bravos to bribe the Iron Bank. There's zero percent chance he actually negotiates a deal, and maybe he gets murdered along the way. But at worst he's a stall, and maybe, if Trump/Lannisters are lucky, he bumbles his way into the message that when the actual grownups sit down to talk, they might be open to some more nefarious shit.
Dan is on Twitter and will talk about life with you in lieu of getting a therapist and he also hosts The Bachelor Zone Podcast, where you can hear him give a sports-style breakdown of all things happening on The Bachelor.
Top Image: Gage Skidmore