How could they have been this unprepared?
You would have been wrong.
At the White House podium shortly after Biden's Tuesday announcement, the President looked downright perplexed. How could Biden choose someone who wasn't nice to him during the primary debates?
Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson unwittingly described Harris as too tough on crime -- "She fought to keep inmates locked up in overcrowded prisons."
Pierson noted Harris' time as a prosecutor, echoing the misgivings of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, but undercutting the larger Trump 2020 message that Biden-Harris will let the country unravel in convulsions of anarchy and mayhem.
Another fundraising email warned that, "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Would Destroy America." (How scary!)
The labels are so removed from reality that they are accidentally hilarious. Biden has a decades'-long track record of centrist policies.
But Trump and the campaign are gradually settling on a strategy. It's a tough challenge. They have to come up with something to focus voters' attention, and it can't be the economy or health care.
Here's the plan: Painting Biden as a wild-eyed radical just won't stick, so they will try to frighten voters into thinking that the affable Biden is a puppet of the scary left. Maybe Harris is the puppeteer, that's not completely clear yet.
Under Biden, "low income housing would invade their neighborhood...with Corey [misspelled] Booker in charge!" The message was transparently, deliberately racist. It was also inadvertently, revealingly sexist.
Security moms who want law and order might actually like Harris' record. But let's not muddle the Republican strategy with facts.
In short, the plan is to frighten voters and appeal to any latent racist fears. Since Biden is not a radical, the claim is that he's not really in charge; he's a Trojan Horse. And Harris -- she may seem too tough, too nasty, but she's not tough enough. Got that?
In fairness to the Trump team, Democrats have put them in a difficult position. But there is no reasonable excuse for why the Trump campaign was unprepared for the Harris announcement. The only explanation is incompetence, and Trump's inability to fathom anyone not holding a grudge.