Yesterday the President kicked off the latest version of his 2020 Presidential campaign by holding two campaign events dressed up as press conferences which Fox News obligingly broadcast for free. To the credit of the other TV networks, they kept their regular programming going, but being obsessively interested in politics, I tuned into Fox to watch the performance of Donald Trump.
The first press conference was held in a large room somewhere in the White House and was attended by what appeared to be staffers from the various federal law-enforcement agencies – FBI, DEA, ATF, DHS – who are easily identified because the men all have short hair and wear ugly shoes.
This first event was called to kick off a new program called Operation Legend, named after a 4-year-old boy killed in Kansas City while asleep in his bed. There has been a serious surge in urban violence over the last several months, with the issue being politicized by both sides. The anti-Trump forces are saying that because Trump screwed up the response to Covid-19, people are out of work, locked in their homes, pissed off, depressed, all the usual theories for increases in violent crime. Trump, on the other hand, made a point of saying that the violence was occurring in ‘sanctuary’ cities run by Democrats who want to let ‘illegals’ wander around urban neighborhoods and also want to defund the police.
Of course the moment the words ‘we are sending federal agents’ popped out of his mouth, Trump realized that he got it wrong. He will send these agents to various cities if and when he is invited to do so by those corrupt Democratic regimes. But details don’t really matter when you’re making a campaign speech. The bottom line is that having solved the Covid-19 pandemic by being interviewed by Chris Wallace last week, Trump can now deal with the really important issues which Americans are concerned about and will define his campaign. Look at it this way. When was the last time any politician lost votes by being ‘tough’ on crime?
The problem is that unless all the polls are screwy (and they might be) the pandemic is still defining priorities for most Americans, particularly the residents of the states whose electoral votes Trump needs to keep in his W column or he can go chub en drerd. That’s a Yiddish expression which mean you can stick it you know where; in this case the ‘it’ being the results of November 3rd.
Take a look at the national Covid-19 infection map in The New York Times. The only part of the country where the spread seems to be under control is the Northeast, and Trump won’t see a single, electoral vote from those states even in the best of times. What he needs is a solid South, which happens to be where the incidence of the virus is at its worst.
Yesterday Trump appeared by himself to take questions about the virus, n event in the briefing room which is normally jammed if the President himself is going to show up. The first thing I noticed was all the empty seats. If there were 20 of the 250 seats occupied yesterday, it was a lot.
What did Trump have to say about the virus? Nothing, other than repeating yet another false claim that young children aren’t going to transmit the germ to their parents or their friends. And I noticed, by the way, that Trump’s threat last week to withhold federal aid from school systems that don’t reopen next month has now disappeared. Which is hardly surprising when one of his chief gubernatorial toady’s, Florida’s Ron DeSantis, just announced that parents will be allowed to decide when and if their children should return to school. He’s now referring to in-class schooling as an ‘option,’ okay?
Over the past several months, urban violence in corrupt, Democratic-led cities has claimed somewhere around 200 to 300 lives. Over that same period, the corona virus has killed more than 100,000 Americans, including more than 500 men and women who were providing front-line medical coverage to persons infected by Covid-19.
Remember what I said yesterday. On November 3rd, genug.