Tag Archives: Presidential Election 2020

The Virus May be Fatal to the Trump Campaign

New Orleans     The reviews of  President Trump’s press conference, where he claimed he was trying to calm the American people and was expected to show leadership in meeting the covid-19 crisis, were almost uniformly bad.  The stock market reacted by cratering to the worst level since 1987 and has now lost 85% of its gains during the Trump term.  These are his real people, and they are stampeding for the door.  Trump is clueless about how to deal with a political world and public health crisis that he can’t mock and humiliate.  Americans watching their neighbors sick and dying, their IRA’s tanking, and trapped in isolation and confusion are not looking to vote for crazy in the White House.  They’re not looking to sock it to the man.  They’re looking to have the man stand up tall and straight and have the federal government do its job and serve the people.  Enough with the dark state, the virus has everyone calling for the right’s nightmare – the nanny state!

The voters are also sending one signal after another. Even Kevin DeWine, former head of the Ohio Republican Party, was quoted saying, “If it’s Biden, you’ll have disaffected Republicans run to the polls to vote for Biden, because they’re just looking for normal and sane.”  Biden’s vote totals in Michigan and Missouri were informative.  He’s pulling working class voters out.  He’s holding onto suburban college educateds.  He won all rural counties in Missouri as well.  These are all constituencies that are critical to Trump having a shot at a second term.  Some observers are starting to reckon with the new results from voters that offers a reinterpretation of 2016 as being as much a rejection of Hillary Clinton as an affirmation of Donald Trump.  It’s early, but even if Trump doesn’t get it, his people seem to understand he’s in trouble.

And, that doesn’t take into account the incredible high-low predictions on various scenarios from the virus, which will rest squarely on Trump’s anti-science, sales and promotions brand of leadership.  I had thought it horrific when I had read that a Yale epidemiologist had estimated 50,000 deaths from coronavirus.  Read the papers or listen to the news these days and you understand that is lowballing.  Meetings at the Center for Disease Control weeks ago on some models saw the death count between 300,000 and 1.5 million Americans over a year, depending on what precautions were taken.  A former Homeland Security adviser to Trump is warning of 500,000 deaths.  Local authorities and others are acting, but Trump is still blowing hard and following far behind with claims that it’s all good.

Recession on one hand and a rising death counts from all of this bumbling may finally have signaled the end to the Trump nightmare.  You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

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What’s Happening with Elizabeth Warren?

Lafayette    The pundits and wizards are already writing the obituary for Massachusetts’ Senator Elizabeth Warren. You can read them in the New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and about anywhere else. The reasons offered are varied and many, but she won’t drop out at the same time as Mayor Pete, Minnesota Amy, or Bay Area Tom Steyer. Both her fans and her haters need her to stay in past Super Tuesday, and they know it. Mark my words, she’ll be gone before the end of the week, but no matter the whining there was no way she would be out before Super Tuesday.

The rap on Warren is across the waterfront.

One says, she should have run more “as a woman” and less as Betsy the cheerleader from Oklahoma. Another says, she should have reminded more people that she was Betsy the cheerleader from the “hard edge” of the middle class in Oklahoma in order to rinse away the notion that she’s a smart-alecky lawyer, living in Cambridge, and a professor at Harvard University. Others wanted her to be less the “I have a plan” for everything and more the I’m one of you people-person-populist that would be able to give Trump fits. Less the lecturing teacher you remember from high school and more the 10,000 selfie-monster she has proven on the trail.

Reportedly, a memo has already circulated among Warren’s campaign team conceding that her only path to the nomination for President now is through a brokered convention and super-delegates in the second round. Tactically, in order to be in the good graces of the super-delegate teams, and that means surviving Super Tuesday, especially California, no matter how bad a beating she might endure. Simple reason: she has to take votes away from Sanders.

Taking votes on the left-liberal axis away from Sanders lowers his delegate count and perhaps keeps him in reach, or blocks the runaway, for his nomination and helps someone like Vice-President Joe Biden emerge to make the rest of the Democratic Party happier. You wouldn’t have Buttigieg or Klobuchar running down to Texas to shout Biden’s praises in an endorsement if they didn’t both want to keep their options open for a potential high-level, Cabinet-sized job if Biden is elected President.

Warren’s strategy may be as good as her tactics on Super Tuesday. She may be hoping by currying favor with the party and the superdelegates as a good solider and taking one for the team, that she might also be on the short list as a Vice-President option to run with Biden. Reportedly, Biden hinted at a South Carolina rally that he might make Senator Kamala Harris his VP choice, but that may have been just a vote-pimping move in a state where there is almost no chance of it ending up in the Democratic column in November, and long forgotten before then.

It’s all getting muy complicado now, but the voters are speaking and the professional pols are listening and jockeying, so we’ll see how this horse race comes out. Keep you money in your pockets right now, because there are no safe bets.

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