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The VP Debate, Taylor Swift, and General Observations of the Week

Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

Topic #1: Last week it was announced that President Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, and he was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday, 10/2. This week, he went back to the White House, and his doctors have announced that they “fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements” today, Saturday 10/10.  

Thoughts and Observations:

  • For a 74-year old, overweight person, his recovery is pretty remarkable, particularly when you consider that last week at this time many on the Left were speculating about (hoping for?) the possibility of him dying from it.
  • One of the clear messages from the ordeal is this – being diagnosed with the virus is not a death sentence, far from it, and the therapies that have been developed over the past several months have improved dramatically.
  • Politically, it appears that the president’s infection may have been detrimental to his polls. Some are speculating that one of the photo ops he participated in upon his return to the White house – the one in which he was interacting with folks while not wearing a mask – hurt his standing, but I’m not buying it.
  • My thought is that many Americans dealt with a major uptick in anxiety when he got sick, reminding them that the pandemic isn’t over.  But now that he’s back on his feet and looking strong, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his poll numbers rebound back to where they were two weeks ago, if not better.
  • The media’s antics during Trump’s illness were outrageous, for the most part, and that will only help Trump in the long run. If their credibility was low before, which it was, it’s about to drop again… big time.

Topic #2: The first and only debate between Vice-President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Joe Biden’s running mate, was held on Wednesday, and was moderated by Susan Page from USA Today.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • First and foremost, those who are arguing that the VP debate is/was a “game-changer,” that’s nonsense. There were probably a few minds that were changed as a result, but very few. This election is about Trump and Biden… right or wrong.
  • It was clear that Pence won overwhelmingly, and anyone looking for evidence need only look at the media reaction. Attacking Pence for “mansplaining” to Harris was one of the biggest criticisms of the Vice-President after the debate, and then they displayed an inexplicable fascination with an insect that landed on Pence’s head at one point. If that’s all they’ve got, it’s clear Pence was the winner.
  • The most clear aspect in which Pence outperformed Harris was his demeanor. He was calm, professional, reserved and methodical. He came across as highly knowledgeable on the subject matter, and well prepared. The guy was outstanding.
  • Harris, on the other hand, came off as unprofessional with her constant smirking, sympathy-seeking with her repeated objections to interruptions, and blatantly dishonest with multiple lies that Pence successfully exposed. Her performance on Wednesday was similar to those we saw during her ill-fated presidential campaign, one in which she dropped out before the first primary. She is just not a good candidate.
  • Pence’s counter to Harris’ comments on taxes was brilliant. Typical of Harris/Biden, in one breath Harris reiterated their plans to kill “Trump’s tax cuts” on the first day of their administration. But Harris later claimed that they wouldn’t be raising taxes. As Pence pointed out perfectly, if you eliminate tax cuts that reduced taxes for 85% of Americans, then by definition you are raising taxes. You can’t have it both ways.
  • As mentioned, one of the criticisms from the media was Pence’s alleged “mansplaining,” and Harris was clearly trying to play herself up as a victim of sexism. At one point, Susan Page interrupted Harris followed by Pence beginning to speak, when Harris jumped at Pence scolding, “I’m speaking now, Mr. Vice-President.” Try as she might, I highly doubt it worked with many undecided voters.
  • Harris then tried to play the “race card” with Pence when he challenged her to answer the question on whether or not her and Biden would “pack” the Supreme Court. Not only did Harris refuse to answer the question for the fourth time, she instead took the opportunity to point out that Trump hasn’t nominated any black folks to the appellate courts. Remarkable pandering, truly.
  • The best line of attack, as well as the best zinger, came with the topic of COVID. Harris tried to make the case that a Biden/Harris administration would come up with a better plan to address the virus and the pandemic, and she took the predictable cheap shots at Trump/Pence. When countered,  correctly, that the Biden plan looks virtually the same as the Trump/Pence actual response, he then suggested that it looks like plagiarism, which is “something that Vice President Biden knows a lot about.” Touché Vice-President Pence.
  • Overall, I think Susan Page did a good job moderating, and significantly better than Chris Wallace’s performance in last week’s debate. Wallace’s star fell even a little further on Wednesday.

Topic #3: Multiple polls since last week’s debate between Trump and Biden show Trump’s deficit has widened, with the most recent Quinnipiac University poll – one of the more reliable of all the polls – shows Trump down 11% nationally.  

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Yes, the polls in 2016 were wrong, but they weren’t off by 11%. This is not good news for the Trump campaign, and we can only hope his handlers are addressing matters and taking it seriously.
  • Trump is closer than 11% in many of the swing states, but still not in good shape. He shows trailing in Arizona and North Carolina in multiple polls, and in a dead heat in Florida. Not good.
  • In spite of the bad news in the voting polls, Trump did get excellent news from a Gallup poll that showed an astounding 56% of Americans think they are better off now than they were four years ago. For that to happen in a year like this, with COVID and racial unrest and everything else is astonishing.
  • So how is that possible? How can 56% of Americans think they’re doing well, yet the president that has been running the country for those four years is trailing a clueless 78-year old suffering from obvious and undeniable senility by 11%? There can be only one reason – Trump’s personality.
  • If the Trump campaign was running strictly on its accomplishment and record, the national debate looks a lot like the Harris/Pence debate on Wednesday. Biden gets his clock cleaned. But throw Trump’s personality into it, and it’s a different ballgame.
  • It’s not too late, but it’s getting there. Trump needs to sharpen his game over the next 3+ weeks. It’s too late for a personality change, but he can help himself. Stay away from stupid stuff like criticizing Rosie O’Donnell’s physique or going after Joe Scarborough and his wife. He should focus on his accomplishments to some extent, but he has to go after Biden harder… and not by interrupting him during debates.
  • If Trump loses, we’re all f*cked, and he needs to step things up.

Topic #4: President Trump on Tuesday said he has “fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents” related to the Russia investigation and the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

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 Thoughts and Observations:

  • We haven’t seen all the documents, but from what we’ve seen “Spy-gate” really is stunning. Extremely bad.
  • The media’s disinterest with the topic is remarkable, but as more comes out they may not be able to ignore it much longer.
  • The “October Surprise” for this election cycle may very well be the Durham Investigation. Special Prosecutor John Durham has been investigating the matter for over a year, and he should be ready to announce at least some findings very soon. If Durham hands down indictments on key players – for instance, James Comey or John Brennan – then sparks will be flying. Get your popcorn ready.

Topic #5: Taylor Swift announced her endorsement of Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Stunning, I know, and laughable, but it’s worth at least a few seconds to consider the news. Taylor Swift is an attractive, talented, and extremely wealthy woman. She is truly blessed. But there are two questions we must take time to consider:
    • What does it say about our culture that just because Swift has been blessed with looks, talent, and good fortune, she feels compelled to not only inform us of her opinion, but to actually make an announcement in doing so? It says that the ongoing culture war we’re engaged in is not only still in progress, it’s worsening.
    • And what does it say about our media that they consider Swift’s announcement even remotely newsworthy? It just confirms what we already knew: our mainstream media is complicit in trying to drive our culture to the left, and every time this type of nonsense comes out their credibility goes down another notch. The American mainstream media is an absolute joke.
  • For the record, Ms. Swift, congratulations on your success. But at least half of the country, and probably much more, could care less what you think about politics or anything else. Here’s some unsolicited advice: stick to music and your adoring fans, and leave politics to political commentators and blogs like this one. It has to be a lot less nerve-wracking, and the pay is a whole lot better… trust me.  

PF Whalen