Democratic ad makers think they’ve discovered Trump’s soft spot

After more than a year of polling, focus groups and message testing against the president, there’s a growing consensus about what damages Trump — and what doesn’t.

Donald Trump wasn’t halfway through his speech in Tulsa, Okla., and Democratic ad makers in Washington and New York were already cutting footage for an air raid on the slumping president.

They didn’t focus on the president’s curious monologue about his difficulties descending a ramp or drinking water at West Point, the small crowd size of the Tulsa event or even his use of the racist term “kung flu.” Instead, the ads zeroed in on Trump’s admission that he urged officials to “slow the [coronavirus] testing down.”

It’s a reflection of a growing consensus among Democrats about what kind of hits on Trump are most likely to persuade swing votersand which ones won’t. As in 2016, ad makers are focusing on Trump’s character. But unlike four years ago, they are no longer focusing on his character in isolation — rather they are pouring tens of millions of dollars into ads yoking his behavior to substantive policy issues surrounding the coronavirus, the economy and the civil unrest since the death of George Floyd.

You can’t chase the Trump clown car,” said Bradley Beychok, president of the progressive group American Bridge. “Him drinking water and throwing a glass is goofy and may make for a good meme, but it doesn’t matter in the scheme of things … What people care about is this outbreak.”

Until recently, it wasn’t entirely clear what, if anything, worked against Trump. From the moment he announced his presidential campaign five years ago, not even the most incendiary material seemed to cause significant damage. Not

  • calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” not
  • “blood coming out of her wherever,” not “
  • grab them by the p—y” — all of which were featured by Democrats in character-based ads attacking Trump.

By Election Day, most voters didn’t find Trump honest or trustworthy, according to exit polls. But they voted for him anyway. And throughout much of his first term, including his impeachment, Democrats struggled to find an anti-Trump message that gained traction.

In their preparations for 2020, outside Democratic groups spent more than a year surveying voters in swing states by phone and online. They convened in-person focus groups and enlisted voters in swing states to keep diaries of their media consumption.

Multiple outside groups said they began to test their ads more rigorously than in 2016, using online panels to determine how likely an ad was to either change a viewer’s impression of Trump or to change how he or she planned to vote. Priorities USA, a major Democratic super PAC, alone expects to test more than 500 ads this cycle. Priorities, American Bridge and other outside groups, including organized labor, have been meeting regularly to share internal research and media plans.

“One thing we saw in polling a lot before the coronavirus outbreak is that people didn’t think he was a strong leader or a good leader, they complained about his Twitter,” said Nick Ahamed, analytics director at Priorities USA. “But they had a hard time connecting those character flaws they saw in him with their day-to-day experience.”

Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and recent protests, he said, “really made concrete for people the ways in which his leadership has direct consequences on them and their loved ones … It’s easier to make ads that talk about his leadership than before the outbreak.”

The advertising elements that appear to work, according to interviews with more than a dozen Democrats involved in message research, vary from ad to ad. Using Trump’s own words against him often tests well, as do charts and other graphics, which serve to highlight Trump’s distaste for science. Voters who swung from President Barack Obama to Trump in 2016 — and who regret it — are good messengers. And so is Joe Biden, whose voice is widely considered preferable to that of a professional narrator. Not only does he convey empathy, according to Democrats inside and outside Biden’s campaign, but using Biden’s voice “helps people think about him as president,” said Patrick Bonsignore, Biden’s director of paid media.

But the ad makers’ overarching takeaway from their research was this: While Trump may not be vulnerable on issues of character alone, as he demonstrated in 2016, he is vulnerable when character is tied to his policy record on the economy and health care.

“What we’ve learned form a lot of previous experience … is that quite honestly, people who work in politics can be bad prognosticators in terms of which ad will work,” said Patrick McHugh, Priorities’ executive director. “You see a lot of times the videos that go viral on Twitter … you test those ads, and more often than not they backlash … they can move voters toward Trump.”

For the negative ad industry, the coronavirus has been a bonanza because it inextricably linked both the economy and health care. On the evening of his Tulsa rally, American Bridge, which had already been working on an ad pummeling Trump for his response to the coronavirus, bookended its material with Trump’s acknowledgment that he urged officials to “slow the testing down.”

Biden’s campaign rushed a video onto social media skewering Trump for the admission. And Priorities USA, the Biden campaign’s preferred big-money vehicle, was on TV within days with Trump’s testing remarks in the swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan.

Trump complained on Twitter that “the Democrats are doing totally false advertising.” But after the Democratic National Committee posted its first TV ads since 2016 — one asserting that Trump had “brought America down with him” and the other a more focused critique of his handling of China and trade — even the president acknowledged the effectiveness of the assault.

“On the campaign they’ll say such horrible things about me. It’s a very unfair business,” he said on Fox News. “But the ad [Democrats] did this morning, it’s a great ad for them.”

In one obvious way, assailing Trump is less complicated for Democrats than it was four years ago. Trump is the incumbent now, and for the first time he has a record of governance. Pointing out historic economic and public health crises in ads is not rocket science.

Trump’s approval ratings, both overall and on his handling of the coronavirus, have tracked downward since March, when outside Democratic groups began running advertisements against him on the issue. A Reuters/Ipsos poll last week put public approval for his response to the coronavirus pandemic at 37 percent, the lowest mark on record.

“There are more voters on the table now than there have been in a long time,” Becca Siegel, Biden’s chief analytics officer, told POLITICO. “Many, many voters who are persuadable and open to hearing these messages.”

And Trump keeps providing fodder. As outside groups began running ads featuring Trump’s “slow the testing down” remark last week, one Democratic strategist said, “Everybody is going to put this into their ads. This is something people are going to see on their TVs … for the rest of the cycle.”

For Biden, it is difficult to argue anything isn’t working at the moment. He is flattening Trump in national polls and running ahead of him in most swing states.

Yet voters still know less about Biden than Trump, according to internal polling from both parties, and there is an undercurrent of tension within the Democratic Party about how much effort to spend attacking Trump versus building Biden up.

In a study based on data from tens thousands of survey participants — and cited frequently by Democrats — researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University found earlier this month that messages about the lesser-known candidate, Biden, were more effective at persuading voters than messages about Trump.

Echoing the study’s findings, David Doak, a retired longtime Democratic strategist and ad maker, said that while “the race is being decided right now by the negativity towards Trump … what I would do if I were the Biden [campaign] is to try and fill in that favorability, to strengthen what he’s getting there and move his favorability rating up.”

Jimmy Siegel, an ad maker who worked on Clinton’s 2008 campaign and for Michael Bloomberg this cycle, said, “You need more positive Biden stuff” — what another strategist called “more Biden cowbell.”

“I think Democrats have had a theory of the case against President Trump for a while, but it really hasn’t been until the last few months when it started finally getting traction,” said Mark Putnam, the famed Democratic ad maker who worked for Obama and also for Biden before parting ways with the campaign last year. “He almost seemed to have some kind of anti-gravity secret that allowed him to consistently screw things up and yet never pay a political price for it. And with just the way he’s handled one crisis after another in really the worst possible way, it’s finally sinking in.”

However, Putnam said, “That’s only half the battle … We also have to offer an alternative.”

Unite the Country, the super PAC that Putnam is working with, has released several TV and digital ads highlighting Biden’s biography and record on the economy, including a spot featuring Biden’s childhood home in in Scranton, Pa. — complete with the bed Biden slept in as a child that Putnam’s team found stored in the attic when they arrived.

And Biden’s campaign itself began working this month to define the former vice president — and Trump — for a general election audience, releasing two ads as part of a $15 million buy, his first major advertising offensive of the general election campaign.

Just as the outside Democratic groups did, Biden’s campaign tested those ads with online panels, finding versions that used Biden’s own voice performed “dramatically stronger” than those using a professional narrator, the Biden campaign’s Bonsignore said.

In one ad, Biden talks about the economy, offering only an implicit contrast with Trump.

But Biden’s other ad cuts a much sharper contrast — staying with Democrats’ relentless criticism of the incumbent. It includes footage of Trump posing with a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House after officials forced protesters from the area, as well as an image of Trump’s “both sides” reaction to the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. — an episode that has gained new resonance amid the racial unrest surrounding Floyd’s killing.

The ad recalled Hillary Clinton’s first ad of the 2016 general election, when Clinton used footage of Trump encouraging violence at a campaign rally and mocking a reporter’s disability to make a call for unity.

But there was one significant difference from the 2016 attack on Trump. Four years ago, said Tad Devine, who was a senior strategist to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, issues of character proved irrelevant in general election advertising “because people weren’t voting on it” — there was no connection to draw between Trump’s character and a record of governance that did not yet exist.

This year, he said, “That is absolutely the weakest front for Trump … Things have changed so dramatically, and the connection between the character of the president and that president’s ability to protect people, whether it’s from economic collapse or pandemic, is really important.”

The contrast works, Devine said, because “people are so desperate to turn the page from what’s happening in America today.”

On Some Things, Americans Can Agree

George Floyd’s killing was brutal. Good cops are needed. And Trump hurt himself badly this week.

There’s so much to say but my mind keeps going back to New Year’s Eve, when we watched the ball come down and knew the story of 2020 was the presidential election and whatever stray harassments history throws our way. No one that night guessed—no one could have guessed—that in the next few months we’d have a world-wide pandemic, an economic catastrophe and fighting in the streets. The point is not that life is surprise or history turns on a dime, it’s that we’ve been battered. We’ve been through a lot. And with economic and cultural indexes down, with the world turned darker and more predatory, we will go through more. We thought we’d be telling our grandchildren about the spring of 2020. Actually we’ll be telling them about the coming 10 years, and how we tried to turn everything around.

The painful irony of the protests and riots is that for a few days everyone was in agreement. We all saw the nine-minute tape. We saw the casual brutality as the dying man begged for mercy and the cop didn’t care. In the past there were arguments about similar incidents. Not this time. Most everyone concedes the problem—that black men are profiled and cannot feel safe in their own country. Walking while black, driving while blackTim Scott of South Carolina has been stopped for trying to impersonate a U.S. senator, which is what he is. In an interview a few years ago he told me that seven times in his first six years in Washington he’d been pulled over for “driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood.”

Following the killing of George Floyd, America would totally accept protests and demonstrations, would understand expressions of anger and pain.

What Americans wouldn’t accept was looting, violence, arson. They wouldn’t accept that shopkeepers just out from lockdown were pulled from their stores and beaten. They won’t accept this because they will not accept more battery.

We’re now supposed to hate cops. No. Hate bad cops, help good ones. A great cop does as much to help society as a great doctor or nurse, and is in the line of fire. In New York, one officer was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver; another was stabbed in the neck; two were shot. One cop was shot in Las Vegas and four in St. Louis, where the police chief said someone randomly shot at a police line. Also in St. Louis a 77-year-old retired police captain, David Dorn, black, on the force 38 years, was shot and killed during the looting.

Cops witness the worst things in America. They answer the 911 call at 3:20 a.m. and see things so horrible they can’t tell anyone because if it gets around there will be imitators. They see the violent parents and the kids watching television, checked out at age 8. They see what meth does. They’re often poorly trained and have to get everything right, and they assume between the pols and public opinion no one really has their back except the unions that too often keep cities from weeding out bad cops so that good cops can thrive.

There is a phrase among medical professionals, “moral injury.” Health-care workers who are strung out, stretched to the breaking point, suffer from moral injury.

So do a lot of cops. A lot of black men, too. The thing for all of us now is to keep our moral poise and intellectual balance, try to be fair and make things better. Some cops failed to do that this week—unnecessary roughness, targeting journalists. Some really came through. Among them were the police who were face to face with demonstrators and took a knee. This has been criticized as obsequious, bowing to the mob. No, it is how we are saved, by showing love and sympathy. It happened from New York to Los Angeles. Yahoo News reported on what happened in Flint, Mich., when Sheriff Chris Swanson told protesters, “I took off the helmet and laid the batons down. Where do you want to walk? We’ll walk all night.” Protesters cheered. In Fayetteville, N.C., there was a standoff between demonstrators and the police. The officers, some 60 of them, took a knee before marchers on Murchison Road. The department later said they wanted to show “understanding” for “the pain” many civilians are feeling. Witnesses said some officers and protesters had tears in their eyes.

To the extent things were contained this week, that’s how it happened.

That’s the big story, what happened in America.

As to the president, this week he altered his position in the political landscape. Something broke. He is no longer the force he was and no longer lucky. In some new and indelible way his essential nature was revealed.

It got out that faced with protests around the White House, he hid. Or perhaps let the Secret Service, which might have struggled with realistic threat assessment, talk him into going into the White House bunker. (Mr. Trump later said he was simply “inspecting” it.) He tweeted that he was protected by the “most vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons.”

On Monday, he spoke in the Rose Garden. “I will fight to protect you,” he said. “I am your president of law and order.” This was unsubtle, and seemed more aimed at protecting his political prospects than your safety and property.

Then, upset that people might be getting the impression he was a physical coward, he set out to prove he is brave. Protected by a phalanx of police, Secret Service, sharpshooters and what looked like a Praetorian Guard with shields, he marched to St John’s, the church of the presidents. Aides said it was a Churchill moment. And it was just like Churchill during the blitz, if Churchill secretly loved rubble. Upon arrival with his friends, the people who work for him, he brandished a Bible like—who in history?—the devil?

In all this he gave up the game and explicitly patronized his own followers. It was as if he was saying: I’m going to show you how stupid I know you are. I’ll give you crude and gross imagery and you’ll love it because you’re crude and gross people.

And some would love it. But not all. Not most, I think.

He has maxed out his base. He’s got his 40% and will keep it, but it isn’t growing. His polls are down, he has historically high negatives. As for suburban women, they’d crawl over broken husbands to vote him out.

He is proud of his many billionaire friends and think they love him. They don’t. Their support is utterly transactional. They’re embarrassed by him. When they begin to think he won’t be re-elected they will turn, and it will be bloody and on a dime.

This will not end well. With his timing he’d know it. He should give an Oval Office address announcing he’s leaving: “America, you don’t deserve me.” Truer words have never been spoken in that old place. And he won’t be outshone by his successor. Network producers will listen to Mike Pence once and say, “Let’s do ‘Shark Week.’ ” But you know, America could use a shark week.

George Conway: Trump went ballistic at me on Twitter. Here’s why he reacts with such rage.

Americans died from covid-19 at the rate of about one every 42 seconds during the past month. That ought to keep any president awake at night.

Just days ago, the president flipped out at a detailed New York Times article that described how he watches television at all hours, obsessed about how he’s covered in the news. As though to prove the story’s thesis, Trump rage-tweeted that it was a “phony story” and that the media would say “Anything to demean!

And then, as though to prove the point again, at 12:46 a.m. on Tuesday, Trump went ballistic on Twitter — at me.

In a fourtweet screed, he attacked me and my colleagues at the Lincoln Project as “LOSERS,” “loser types,” “crazed” and “a disgrace to Honest Abe.” About me, he said, “I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad.” Ten hours later, on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, Trump was still enraged, ranting about us for nearly two minutes in front of the media.

What triggered his ire was a 60-second online ad we released Monday. Entitled “Mourning in America,” it’s an inversion of President Ronald Reagan’s famous 1984 reelection campaign ad, “Morning in America.” Reagan’s ad took credit for the resurgence of the American economy. Our ad puts the blame for the government’s failures in responding to covid-19 right where it belongs — on Trump. He dithered for 10 weeks, from January to mid-March, misleading the public about the severity of the crisis, pretending that the virus would never take hold here. History will record that each day of delay cost American lives.

It may strike you as deranged that a sitting president facing a pandemic has busied himself attacking journalists, political opponents, television news hosts and late-night comedians — even deriding a former president who merely called for empathy and unity in response to the virus. It may strike you as nuts that Trump bragged about his supposed Facebook ranking in the middle of a virus task-force briefing, asserted that millions would have died were it not for him, boasted that “the ‘Ratings’ of my News Conferences etc.” were driving “the Lamestream Media . . . CRAZY,” and floated bogus miracle cures, including suggesting that scientists consider injecting humans with household disinfectants such as Clorox.

If so, you’re not alone. Tens of thousands of mental-health professionals, testing the bounds of professional ethics, have warned for years about Trump’s unfitness for office.

Some people listened; many, including myself, did not, until it was too late.

Now, it’s more obvious than ever. Trump’s narcissism deadens any ability he might otherwise have had to carry out the duties of a president in the manner the Constitution requires. He’s so self-obsessed, he can only act for himself, not for the nation. It’s why he was impeached, and why he should have been removed from office.

And it’s why he reacts with such rage. He fears the truth. He fears being revealed for what he truly is. Extreme narcissists exaggerate their achievements and talents, and so Trump has spent his life building up a false image of himself — not just for others, but for himself, to protect his deeply fragile ego. He lies endlessly, not just in the way sociopaths do, which is to con others, but also to delude himself. He claims to be a “genius,” even though he apparently can’t spellcan’t punctuatecan’t do math and lacks geographic literacy, and even though his own appointees have privately called him a “moron,” an “idiot,” a “dope,” and “dumb.” Now, God help us, he fancies himself an expert in virology and infectious diseases.

But the jig is up. When Trump lied and claimed credit for “the greatest economy in the history of our country,” even though it wasn’t, and even though he inherited a strong economy, and goosed it up with trillions of dollars in debt, it didn’t matter to most people. The economy was good — so what? The debt? That won’t come due for decades.

When he tried to obstruct the Mueller investigation, that didn’t move them either. The rule of law and the violation of a presidential oath are abstractions; the Dow Jones industrial average and the unemployment rate aren’t. And when he used his presidential power to try to extort a foreign ally into smearing a political opponent, not enough cared then, either.

Now it all matters, painfully and concretely. Trump’s lying, his self-regard, his self-soothing, his lack of empathy, his narcissistic rage, his contempt for norms, rules, laws, facts and simple truths — have all come home to roost. Now he sees his poll numbers fall accordingly, and lashes out with ever-increasing anger. For deep in his psyche he knows the truth. Because he fears being revealed as a fake or deranged, he’ll call others fake or deranged. Because he fears losing, he’ll call them losers instead.

And while Trump’s mind roils in rage, too many Americans are losing their lives. That’s the losing that matters, to everyone but him.

Trump Critics are Always Anti-Trump. How do we know this time it is significant

think that that’s in part because look
04:41
I’d be open to somebody making the
04:44
argument that Donald Trump is singularly
04:46
unsuited for this moment the problem is
04:49
is that most of the people that are
04:52
making that case including David Frum
04:54
who you just quoted or including Pete
04:55
Waner have been making the case that
04:57
Donald Trump is singularly unsuited for
04:59
office from before the time he was even
05:01
elected so it becomes kind of difficult
05:04
to separate out the uniqueness of their
05:06
argument in this case versus their
05:08
general view that the man should never
05:10
have been elected at all that just I
05:13
mean and that’s that’s I think and I’ve
05:16
made this case many times that for the
05:18
kind of Trump haters out there after a
05:20
while your repetition begins to weaken
05:23
your argument now holmen’s point I think
05:26
is very good are we making mistakes on a
05:29
daily daily occurrence in the middle of
05:31
this oh you bet you we are and one day
05:33
there’s gonna be a post-mortem that is
05:36
gonna be really ugly but I would argue
05:37
that that post mortem is going to be one
05:40
that looks at a lot of mistakes that
05:42
were made by a lot of administrations on
05:44
the road to coronavirus you know whether
05:47
it was prior administrations it didn’t
05:49
adequately restock her stockpiles
05:51
whether it’s health agencies that over
05:54
30 years have claimed to be preparing
05:56
for pandemics and yet seem to have no
05:57
plan when this came out sure this is
06:00
gonna require complete retooling of the
06:03
way we look at these things but to say
06:05
that it’s all incumbent upon one person
06:07
is just ridiculous back to the
06:09
coronavirus back to the substance of
06:10
what we’re dealing with right now is one
06:12
more frankly one more Trump question
06:16
we’ve got I quoted David Frum and Pete
06:20
Waner of course as you know I could have
06:21
quoted any number of dozens and dozens
06:23
of people but David Frum and Pete Waner
06:26
both worked in the administration of
06:28
George W Bush three and a half years ago
06:31
before Donald Trump three or four years
06:33
ago before he declared his candidacy for
06:35
president you and I would have thought
06:37
of David Fromm and Pete Waner as broad
06:40
speaking to put a crudely
06:43
on our side limited government free
06:47
markets Republican candidates overall
06:50
tend to be better for that than
06:51
Democratic candidates and now we have it
06:55
reminds me again and again of the OJ
06:59
Simpson trial where we had the jury and
07:02
those of us watching on television
07:04
looking at exactly the same set of facts
07:07
and coming to utterly opposed
07:11
conclusions what accounts for this I
07:14
mean this but this has been happening
07:17
again since a minute he wrote a whole
07:19
book I wrote a whole hook on it and you
07:21
know I make these examples it is
07:23
astonishing to me and this is my
07:25
favorite one that you continue to hear
07:27
people say today that Donald Trump is
07:30
some sort of autocrat or tyrant or a
07:32
dictator in the making because I’m sorry
07:35
when you stop back and you look at what
07:36
his administration has actually done on
07:39
a day-to-day basis and we forget the
07:41
president’s press moments forget the
07:44
things he puts on Twitter look at what’s
07:46
happened at the cabinet level at the
07:47
agency level one of the biggest
07:49
deregulations in the history of the
07:52
country if not the biggest a giant tax
07:54
cut okay you can’t become an autocrat by
07:58
cutting the size of your government by a
08:00
third okay I mean everything that they
08:02
have done is designed to take power away
08:05
from the federal government to devolve
08:07
it out to the states to make things more
08:10
free in the country but that’s an
08:13
example of what you’re saying and so now
08:14
we’re getting it here in the context of
08:16
the virus which is you know Donald Trump
08:19
is suitably you know uniquely inept or
08:22
uniquely unqualified for this moment I
08:25
mean I guess a question I would have for
08:27
a lot of these people is what exactly
08:29
would they be doing differently at this
08:31
moment and I think that guess it’s a big
08:34
questions about shutdown no shutdown but
08:36
again is that on Donald Trump or on this
08:39
kind of mass of so-called experts and
08:41
health community which is all over the
08:43
map itself on what the way is supposed
08:45
to be forward all right
08:47
the big takeaway here’s Kim Strauss all
08:51
on March 19th
08:52
this is just great because I get
08:54
I get to I get to ask you what you meant
08:56
about this or that of course I read your
08:58
column all the time now I get to talk to
08:59
you about it
09:00
that’s bad though Pierre it means I
09:02
wasn’t clear enough the first time no I
09:04
just asked you to elaborate here I’m
09:08
quoting you here’s the lesson of the
09:10
virus so far relying solely on
09:12
government bureaucracy is insane to the
09:17
extent America is weathering this moment
09:19
it is in norton enormous part thanks to
09:21
the strength and Genuity and flexibility
09:24
of our thriving competitive capitalist
09:28
players close quote
09:30
explain that well look to me whatever
09:34
you criticism you want a level of the
09:36
Trump administration the single most
09:38
important thing they did at the very
09:39
beginning was a philosophical decision
09:42
which is that they were not going to
09:43
attempt to deal with this on their own
09:45
they were going to embrace the private
09:47
sector and move forward in a
09:48
public-private partnership in dealing
09:51
with this brilliant because that is
09:53
exactly the way forward in this country
09:56
and it always has been federal
09:57
government when do we ever expect the
09:59
federal government to turn on a dime and
10:01
handle a major project I mean you cannot
10:04
reconcile that idea in your head with
10:06
for instance the DMB okay which is what
10:10
most of us think of in terms of
10:11
government so you turn to act as you can
10:13
and what’s unique about this partnership
10:15
is that you have players out there
10:17
wanting to do stuff and then the
10:18
government’s role is to get out of their
10:20
way right and so it was a CDC that
10:23
completely messed up that original
10:25
testing regimen it was we go into that a
10:28
little bit because that that gets laid
10:31
at Trump’s that Trump gets blamed for
10:34
that again and again and again that’s
10:35
still going on but just explain what
10:36
actually happened with yeah so what
10:40
happened is the CDC the the the World
10:42
Health Organization had its own way of
10:45
going forward with testing but lots of
10:47
different countries over the time have
10:49
always had different regimens testing
10:52
regimens the CDC has traditionally and
10:54
in this case it did it again decided it
10:56
wanted to come up with its own testing
10:58
regimen because it wanted to exert some
11:00
quality control over that the problem
11:02
was is that when all the scientists went
11:05
and did it
11:05
they must
11:06
it didn’t work and it delayed us for a
11:09
couple of weeks they then turned to the
11:11
private sector which got you know
11:13
luckily we had some incredible actors
11:16
out there who’ve been working on this
11:17
already themselves and they were able to
11:19
stand up an effective testing regimen in
11:21
a little less than a week
11:22
thank you private sector but you see
11:24
that replicated whether it’s on the
11:26
ventilator front whether it’s on
11:27
personal protection equipment whether
11:29
it’s on the vaccines that are getting
11:31
pushed forward I mean we have an amazing
11:34
resource the United States and just one
11:36
last thing on this it is astonishing to
11:38
me even as we are watching this and also
11:41
all of these corporations paying
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employees even though they’ve got no
11:45
money coming in you know giving them
11:47
leave like we hear these stories of
11:49
small businesses bending over backwards
11:51
to make sure they’re not laying people
11:52
off at the same time we have Bernie
11:55
Sanders giving a farewell or drop out of
11:57
the race speech this week in which he
12:00
was unrelentingly horrid to the
12:02
corporate community and suggested
12:03
everything wrong in the United States is
12:05
laid at its feet amazing
12:09
Kim so big takeaway private sector is
12:13
saving us amazing let’s discuss a couple
12:15
of threats to the private sector that
12:20
the current crisis may be posing and one
12:23
is in one way or another if it happens
12:26
it’ll happen in a subtle way it’ll
12:27
happen press conference by press
12:29
conference probably a shift from
12:33
decision-making by the democratically
12:35
elected office holders to the unelected
12:39
public health officials and so there
12:43
have been moments when people have said
12:46
in conversations I’ve overheard the
12:50
Acting President of the United States is
12:52
doctor pouchy Donald Trump’s instincts
12:55
were clearly against shutting down the
12:57
economy but the experts talked him into
13:00
it
13:00
well actually by the way let’s start
13:02
with that with the threshold question
13:05
are you satisfied that the public health
13:08
experts did a serious and rigorous job
13:11
of weighing the costs of shutting down
13:14
the economy and throwing we now know
13:17
today’s figure is six point six million
13:19
Americans out of work and all that all
13:24
the pathologies that go with
13:26
unemployment that they did a serious and
13:28
adequate job of weighing those costs
13:30
against the benefits of the lives they
13:32
believed we could save by shutting down
13:36
the economy did they do that right of
13:38
course they didn’t but you know what in
13:40
fairness it’s not their job to do that
13:43
right I mean look public health
13:44
officials exist to worry about public
13:46
health and we have them and they’re
13:48
meant to be one part of a broader
13:51
government in which the president is
13:53
soliciting and getting the views of a
13:55
whole range of different experts and
13:57
that clearly didn’t happen here and you
13:59
know I blame a little bit the media I
14:01
blame Democrats who immediately came out
14:04
of the box with his mantra you need to
14:06
listen to the scientists you need to
14:08
listen to the scientists okay we do need
14:10
to listen to the scientists but we also
14:11
need to listen to the economists who are
14:13
talking about what the balance of all of
14:15
this will be in and and what they
14:17
similar devastation by the way to health
14:20
will be of people who are homeless who
14:23
can’t feed their kids who are having
14:25
mental health issues because of all of
14:27
this or the people right now I would
14:29
give this all the people who aren’t
14:30
going in and getting mammograms or
14:32
colonoscopies and we were potentially
14:34
missing other cancers a few that are
14:37
being delayed right none of this is
14:39
necessarily good overall for health so
14:41
yes we’re making a dent on one type of
14:43
fatality out there but at what cost
14:46
every other way that’s my one concern I
14:48
think the other concern but I really
14:49
have about this is when let’s say you
14:52
take the advice listen to the experts
14:54
why these particular experts you know
14:57
and I’m not again in any way diminishing
15:00
doctor foul here dr. Burks or or any of
15:02
the people that are working this
15:03
accomplished people full of goodwill
15:05
will stipulate that yeah but they it
15:08
also happens for you they just happen to
15:09
be there at this time it doesn’t
15:11
necessarily mean they are the most
15:13
qualified people or there aren’t other
15:15
experts out there that are similarly
15:17
like have a lot to supply here and maybe
15:21
a different view and so I think the
15:23
president’s obligation really needs to
15:25
be just step back and listen to everyone
15:29
and then make the decisions
15:31
so in questions of national security and
15:35
I’m thinking this through a fumble
15:39
because I’m the the thought is occurring
15:40
to me if as I speak in questions of
15:43
national security it’s the job of the
15:45
National Security Council to hold
15:46
debates right and and if necessary to
15:50
get the Secretary of Defense and the
15:52
Secretary of State in the Situation Room
15:55
to thrash it out in front of the
15:57
president no such debates have been held
15:59
among public health officials in the
16:01
current crisis that’s my fear right I
16:04
mean you know we have guys right out
16:07
there and you’re John Ian’s etus I think
16:10
under his name the right way you know an
16:13
amazing sort of look at the numbers sort
16:15
of person and he’s got a very different
16:17
view of all of this I haven’t really
16:20
seen anything either by the way that
16:21
suggests that that he isn’t onto
16:24
something or that his view isn’t as
16:26
valid as those that are being voiced in
16:27
the White House so in my perfect world
16:30
in the coming weeks we begin to have
16:33
that debate within the White House the
16:35
president would be soliciting the views
16:37
of experts across the country and not
16:39
just from the infectious disease area
16:42
but from a wide range of health and
16:45
public health disciplines because they
16:48
would all have very different here’s
16:50
another threat to the private sector to
16:53
the kind of vigorous private action that
16:56
you champion from the current crisis now
17:00
quoting William Galston in the Wall
17:01
Street Journal I do is read The Wall
17:02
Street Journal antic so here’s Galston
17:07
writing a couple of days ago quote no
17:10
Senate Republican not one voted against
17:14
the 2.2 trillion trillion dollar rescue
17:17
bill an unprecedented expansion of
17:20
government’s cost and reach close quote
17:23
and I recall the brief press conference
17:27
that Majority Leader McConnell gave
17:30
after they voted to move that 2.2
17:32
trillion package to the President’s desk
17:35
and Majority Leader McConnell was
17:37
crowing that the Senate had gone from
17:40
the bitterness of impeachment to the
17:43
common cause of this rescuing the
17:47
economy and of course you can get every
17:50
senator to vote for giving away billions
17:52
of other people’s money this feels too
17:55
good to those guys they’re going to want
17:57
to do it again is that not a danger it’s
17:59
a huge danger I mean as I pointed out in
18:01
the in the aftermath of that vote you
18:05
had all of these senators running around
18:06
saying oh look a hundred billion dollars
18:08
for hospitals and look we’re sending
18:10
this much money to individuals at home
18:13
and breaking out all of these little
18:15
categories what nobody was pointing out
18:17
was a single biggest category in that
18:19
bill six hundred billion if I recall
18:21
from your column more than six hundred
18:23
billion dollars went to government
18:24
itself and by the way that’s not even
18:26
counting the money that also went to
18:27
state governments as well too that’s
18:30
just the federal government’s payday so
18:33
you know they walked away with the
18:35
biggest slice of this pie and you know
18:37
that was partly Democrats demanding
18:40
saying you know we knew where the money
18:43
needed to go here look anybody did where
18:45
did we need we were having a beginning
18:47
of a liquidity crisis we needed money to
18:49
get to corporations and to small
18:51
businesses to thereby encourage them to
18:54
keep their employees on the payroll and
18:56
the spare us from having more people go
18:58
to government for help that’s a simple
19:01
simple concept but Democrats the price
19:03
of this was you know you got to give us
19:07
money for the food stamps turbo-charged
19:10
unemployment insurance
19:11
you should see the money that just flew
19:13
to every department in government and it
19:17
was very funny we’re not NASA God not
19:18
now all under this sort of vague term
19:21
like for the purpose of preparing and
19:23
dealing with coronavirus NASA gets sixty
19:26
million dollars you’re like sixty
19:27
million dollars but you’re like why for
19:30
what cause
19:31
so in the end Democrats demanded it but
19:34
Republicans willingly rolled over for it
19:37
because they like big government too
19:39
many of them and nobody wanted to seem
19:41
to be the spoil sport at this spending
19:43
sorry alright um the politics of it all
19:47
this is it’s may seem crass to say so in
19:51
the middle of what still feels like a
19:52
crisis but it is the fact that we have
19:55
an election in seven months yes
19:58
years William Galston again president
20:00
Trump had planned to organize his
20:02
campaign around two themes a strong
20:05
economy and a critique of the Democratic
20:08
Party for allegedly embracing socialism
20:10
that gives away Galston allegedly anyway
20:13
for allegedly creating socialism in
20:15
today’s radically transformed
20:18
circumstances neither of those themes is
20:20
likely to work the economy’s in a
20:23
recession and Republicans themselves
20:25
just voted for this gigantic budget
20:30
busting bill where did the politics of
20:33
this shape out yeah well if you look at
20:36
those two themes I think they’re gonna
20:38
obviously have to be modulated although
20:41
I think that there is there are
20:44
corollaries to them that you are likely
20:46
to see the Trump administration adopt
20:48
look with any luck we are going to come
20:50
out of the other side of this at some
20:52
point and the economy is going to start
20:54
back up again everyone’s having a debate
20:56
are we going to have a u-shaped curve on
20:59
the way back up a v-shaped curve the
21:01
bigger point is is that we’re going to
21:02
have a chance to rebuild I think what
21:04
you’re going to see the Trump
21:06
administration start to do is shift to
21:08
arguing that you need a sort of
21:11
conservative Trump like person in office
21:14
to maintain that that we’re at a risky
21:18
time period Democrats have just
21:20
demonstrated their own view of
21:21
governance which is to just throw more
21:23
money at it and
21:24
bash on the private sector we especially
21:27
right now cannot afford to have that
21:29
happen we will not come out of this for
21:31
a long time if they are elected to the
21:33
presidency in November that’s going to
21:35
be one of their arguments compelling
21:38
well I think it’s gonna partly depend on
21:41
look I mean it’s just simply the case
21:43
that the way people feel about their
21:46
pocketbooks plays a great deal into an
21:48
election so how bad is this how much is
21:51
the response that we put out they’re
21:53
gonna stem the losses how quick is the
21:55
recovery we just don’t have the answers
21:57
to that yet hmm
21:59
the journalists the question of
22:02
journalism I’ll come back to the
22:07
journalists and coronavirus in a moment
22:09
but first here’s something that nobody
22:11
it just it just disappeared the story
22:14
disappeared and you know where I’m going
22:17
with a subsequent to the investigation
22:18
of the FBI’s requests to the FISA Court
22:21
connected to the Russia matter the
22:25
Department of Justice’s Inspector
22:27
General inspected more than two dozen
22:30
other FBI wiretap applications the I G’s
22:34
office went in and essentially at random
22:37
pulled together 29 that had nothing to
22:39
do with a Russia matter just to see how
22:42
the FBI was submitting these things and
22:45
the IG s conclusion there were quote
22:48
apparent errors or inadequately
22:50
supported facts
22:51
close quote in every single one and as
22:57
they say the IG the Inspector General of
22:59
the Department of Justice issued that
23:01
report in late March as you and I speak
23:02
this is 1012 days ago it got this
23:07
biggest story in a few newspapers and
23:09
it’s gone what do you make of that well
23:13
I would like to point out we at the
23:14
editorial page The Wall Street Journal
23:16
did a big editorial on it because always
23:19
in all ways except the op-ed page go
23:22
ahead no but because this is a huge deal
23:25
right a hundred percent failure rate
23:29
okay and it’s important because it puts
23:31
the lie to guys like Comey hoops for the
23:34
past years have said oh you know what
23:37
you can’t bash on the FBI it’s nothing
23:40
but a bunch of people we are straight up
23:41
you know these applications are the most
23:43
serious things we do all the time you
23:46
know when the results in December came
23:48
out of the I geez Russia report he said
23:51
well I guess we were a little sloppy
23:52
well now we find out that apparently the
23:56
FBI is general attitude is that they
23:58
don’t need to follow any of the rules
23:59
and that we’ve got nobody watching the
24:02
shop you know and if the IG randomly
24:05
chose 29 applications and every one of
24:08
them was violating what are known as the
24:10
woods files procedures which are meant
24:12
to be the central mechanism by which you
24:15
keep the FBI on the straight and narrow
24:17
and make sure these applications are
24:19
what are known what that’s supposed to
24:21
be scrupulously accurate they don’t care
24:24
and then the other aspect of that idea
24:26
reporters they also found out that the
24:28
internal mechanisms that the FBI and
24:30
Department of Justice are spent supposed
24:32
to maintain to guarantee this are a joke
24:35
nobody looks at the results of the
24:37
reports that they do nobody goes back to
24:40
the individuals who filed the
24:42
applications and said hey you made
24:44
errors what’s up with this there’s no
24:46
consequences for anybody no
24:47
accountability and and the media doesn’t
24:50
want to talk about this because it
24:51
reminds them of the Russia story which
24:54
was a humiliating experience for both
24:56
them and the Democratic Party do they
24:58
feel humiliated well they should they
25:02
should feel humiliated because they got
25:04
it a hundred percent wrong they put the
25:06
country through torture for three years
25:08
on the basis of their own hatred of a
25:10
candidate not on the basis of any facts
25:12
so a quick little summary the media got
25:17
the Russia matter entirely wrong all
25:20
these months later not a shred of
25:23
evidence has turned up that now justice
25:26
Cavanaugh was justly accused by
25:29
Christine Blasi Ford not a shred of
25:31
evidence of which I’m aware that that
25:33
was anything other than a fabrication
25:35
from beginning to end
25:37
and what else and now we have the IG
25:40
report making unambiguous that the FBI
25:43
has been sloppy in one of its most
25:46
solemn duties
25:49
correct correct and the press has no
25:52
interest in any of that well I think
25:54
it’s really wise though that you bring
25:56
it up because it reminds us Peter I mean
25:59
look the press does this all the time we
26:01
are in the middle of the corona virus
26:03
you know everything all day long 24
26:05
hours seven days a week but it that’s
26:09
going to fade and people are going to
26:11
remember that there are other issues
26:13
that do matter in in the running of a
26:16
country and in elections and remember we
26:19
still have the Durham report to come out
26:21
at some point – that has not disappeared
26:24
and and I keep reminding people as well
26:27
that my belief my understanding is that
26:29
he is very conscious of not wanting to
26:32
go too far into an active election
26:35
period with his results he wants to get
26:37
that out so I’d wager that’s still gonna
26:39
come out sooner rather than later this
26:42
spring summer at the latest I think so I
26:44
would I would I would imagine he’d like
26:46
to have it done before the conventions
26:48
because that’s is often viewed as an
26:50
official starting gun for an election so
26:52
there’s a huge story coming of cacao on
26:56
the corona virus itself journalism even
26:58
on the corona virus I was thinking this
27:00
over here can I just give you a couple
27:03
of questions just questions off the top
27:05
of my head so dr. Fowler has been saying
27:10
that this thing is more lethal than the
27:12
flu and it turns out as best I
27:16
understand and I’ve talked to some
27:17
physician friends here at Stanford he
27:20
cannot know that he cannot know that the
27:24
lethality rate is a ratio it’s the
27:26
number of people who died if I did buy
27:28
something and you can’t know that it’s
27:31
more lethal than the flu until you have
27:33
much more widespread testing of people
27:36
who are infected so there he is saying
27:39
something that he can’t know in front of
27:42
a room full of reporters and no
27:44
reporters respectful I mean I’ve lived I
27:46
have to confess I have other things to
27:48
do I haven’t listened to every minute of
27:50
those White House briefings but you know
27:52
I dip in from time to time as you do and
27:55
the tenor is aggressive toward the
27:58
president aggressive toward pence and
28:00
fawning toward dr.
28:02
Algie and the public health
28:05
professionals even when there’s an
28:07
effete question seems to me obvious
28:08
respectful pertinent and unasked or this
28:12
question of there’s a new book out by a
28:14
couple of Princeton economists you’re a
28:17
Princeton woman the deccan
28:19
husband-and-wife team and they’ve done a
28:22
study I haven’t read the book but I read
28:24
the review in The New Yorker
28:25
and they asked what is the cause of
28:28
these deaths of despair and it’s not
28:31
related to age and it’s not related to
28:33
race and it’s not related to region it’s
28:36
a result of unemployment where people
28:39
are unemployed they abuse alcohol they
28:43
abuse drugs you get domestic violence
28:45
and you get suicide
28:47
well if serious economists such as those
28:51
that Princeton are studying this matter
28:54
and running studies and quantifying it
28:56
why aren’t we getting some modelling
28:58
about the the likely health effects of
29:02
throwing 7 million Americans out of work
29:05
that at least parallels the modeling
29:08
we’re getting every hour it seems on the
29:11
coronavirus now that’s again that
29:14
strikes me as pertinent respectful
29:16
obvious and unasked what is going on
29:20
with American journalism ya know every
29:25
day I watch those and it’s so
29:26
frustrating to me because I wish I were
29:28
there to get to raise my questions to
29:31
ask of these people here’s another one
29:33
that I think falls into that same
29:34
category but and you have probably
29:37
noticed this as well but everyone seems
29:40
to have a different term up there and
29:42
and I mean above among the scientists
29:46
about what it is exactly the endgame is
29:48
here what are we trying to accomplish
29:50
you know is it to slow the spread
29:52
because that’s very different from
29:55
stopping the spread ok are we attempting
29:58
to eliminate this all together and then
30:01
trace any new little case of it and go
30:04
out and extinguish that because if
30:07
that’s the case we’re gonna be locked
30:09
down for a very very long time and we
30:11
won’t have an economy at the end of it
30:12
or if we’re gonna slow the spread slow
30:15
the curve lower the curve flatten
30:17
whatever you want to call it let’s be
30:20
honest that if you were taking that
30:21
approach a lot more people are still
30:23
gonna get this just over a longer period
30:26
of time in which case why aren’t we
30:29
opening up some of these lockers I mean
30:31
I just think that there are some really
30:33
fundamental questions that the
30:35
scientific crew up there does not get
30:37
asked so so ok I guess there’s no
30:40
surprise that Peter Robinson and chemist
30:42
Rasul are in violent agreement but but
30:47
there is the larger question is these
30:50
guys have shut down the American he
30:52
can’t I don’t know what stories you’re
30:54
hearing in Alaska
30:55
but here I live in an older house we had
30:58
some trouble with the kitchen and I had
30:59
a plumber in the other day and it turns
31:00
out that kitchen sinks are considered
31:03
essential but he had three guys show up
31:06
for work the same day it was a gas line
31:09
that needed to be repaired and some
31:12
bureaucrat in City Hall had decided to
31:14
yank the permit because after all that
31:16
was non-essential so three guys went
31:19
home that day without getting paid this
31:21
is happening over and over and over
31:24
again a vast scale they have done
31:27
something grave and shutting down the
31:29
economy and they still can’t explain to
31:32
us quite what they think they’re doing
31:34
it for and I don’t understand why
31:36
journalists aren’t on their feet asking
31:39
ouchy to clear this up what what is what
31:42
what is the failure of American
31:44
journalism well would it doesn’t seem as
31:47
though bill Safire or Scotty Reston of
31:50
the old days in the New York Times would
31:52
have pushed these guys for answers well
31:55
they would have asked the tough
31:56
questions but they would have asked the
31:57
tough questions of those who are
31:59
actually driving this show which is what
32:01
you’re saying about the kind of public
32:04
health officials who are standing up
32:06
there on the stage look I mean this is
32:08
one of the jokes of journalism these
32:09
days is that they pretend to be tough by
32:14
being mean to Donald Trump as if there
32:17
is any effort involved in that
32:19
whatsoever
32:21
and and is doing so they kind of hide
32:25
beneath this this lack of willingness or
32:29
lack of bravery to ask some really hard
32:31
questions also because they don’t want
32:34
anything the other promise they don’t
32:36
want anything to impede any narrative
32:39
that looks as though it’s bad for Donald
32:41
Trump or that allows them to beat on
32:44
Donald Trump so that’s what happened
32:46
with the Russia thing right I mean look
32:49
it wouldn’t have been very hard to
32:50
unravel or even to just poke holes in
32:53
the ludicrousness of the ideas that they
32:55
were promoting right but it was so much
32:57
more important to them that it be true
33:00
in some way that they were willing to
33:02
spend two and a half years making things
33:04
up and that’s what’s weird
33:06
at today too and unfortunately when you
33:09
don’t have a functioning press when you
33:10
don’t have a press it does its job it is
33:12
bad for the country and so you know
33:14
people love to pile on the press I feel
33:16
find it more of a tragedy than I do
33:18
anything else
33:19
it’s because it hurts all of us in the
33:21
end hmm a few last questions Kim you’re
33:26
not only working at home but you’ve got
33:28
three kids to keep an eye on at home so
33:30
I won’t thank you for your time how does
33:33
this end we’ve even in New York which as
33:37
it seems to be the hardest hit we the
33:40
the the peak either has or has already
33:43
taken place or appears to be taking
33:45
place quite soon and a matter of days
33:47
not weeks who gets to go back to work
33:51
and when and who’s going to decide all
33:53
this that actually strikes me as a
33:55
pretty complicated sequencing problem
33:58
who gets to go first how do we sort this
34:02
out right well also who do we convince
34:05
to go first I think that that’s an even
34:07
bigger problem and it’s why you know in
34:10
some ways they’re crazy mr. president I
34:12
volunteer right now well but what I mean
34:16
is from look we live in a federalist
34:18
system and you know what everyone keeps
34:21
asking that the president when he’s
34:23
going to open the economy it’s not up to
34:25
Donald Trump to open the economy okay
34:27
every one of these governors and mayor’s
34:30
have made their own decisions and will
34:31
continue to make their own decisions
34:33
that being said I do think the federal
34:35
government is going to play a crucial
34:36
role in this regard it’s gonna have to
34:39
push people by putting out very clear
34:42
guidance about what it suggests being
34:44
done because it’s gonna take a little
34:46
bit of a prod to get some of these
34:49
governors to agree to move you know
34:52
there’s look we’re talking about
34:53
politics in the end here
34:54
okay I’m not in any way suggesting these
34:57
officials don’t care about the people in
34:59
their state and their economies but
35:01
right now it’s safer to be in lockdown
35:04
than not okay so from a political
35:08
perspective right if you’re a governor
35:10
of a state do you really want to be the
35:12
first one that says okay hey y’all go
35:13
back to work and good luck and hope that
35:15
works
35:16
so you know especially when you have a
35:20
federal government that again has not
35:22
been clear to people about what the
35:25
endgame is here you know if we’re in a
35:28
situation where we go back and it is
35:30
expected that this is still gonna run
35:32
through society people are still gonna
35:34
be going to the hospital we’re still
35:36
gonna have outbreaks they need to start
35:38
telling everybody that now and let
35:40
people get their heads around it you
35:42
know if the if we’re gonna be in la-la
35:44
land and pretend that the real goal here
35:46
is to stamp this out people aren’t gonna
35:49
want to go back to work right right
35:52
right
35:53
the president tweeted I guess it was
35:55
earlier this week that he expects the
35:58
economy to rebound very quickly maybe
36:01
even bounce back to a higher growth rate
36:03
than we were enjoying earlier we were
36:04
led a little over 2% when the crisis hit
36:08
we’ve been at 3% a year before that I
36:11
guess had six months before that I spoke
36:13
last week though – Kevin wash former
36:16
former member of the Fed – former Fed
36:18
governor and Kevin said wrong wrong
36:22
wrong
36:22
I think it’ll take longer than most
36:24
believe again I don’t think the economy
36:28
can be turned on as quickly as it was
36:31
turned off I think that’s in general a
36:34
great benefit of the American capitalist
36:37
system people are thinking of this
36:39
economy like a light switch we can turn
36:41
it off and then we can switch it back on
36:43
it’s a living organism it has been very
36:47
very badly wounded right and it will
36:50
take time to heal
36:52
so I said Kevin what do you mean weeks
36:54
months and Kevin said quarters what do
36:58
you think no I think that there’s that’s
37:00
right I mean just like remember – well
37:03
we talked about people going back to
37:05
work reopening the economy you’re
37:09
talking about a million different
37:10
sectors of economy some of which will be
37:13
able to get back to work
37:14
maybe relatively quickly maybe in some
37:16
areas of manufacturing for instance
37:19
there are gonna nonetheless be entire
37:22
sectors of the economy and by the way
37:23
not little ones either big ones Airlines
37:27
you know
37:29
you can’t expect to have a healthy
37:31
airline that depends on half of its
37:34
income or more or from overseas travel
37:37
which no one’s going to be allowing
37:39
anytime soon okay
37:41
and then you you you reflect that from
37:44
sector sector the hotel industry the
37:46
cruise industry you know B and B’s you
37:50
know I just saw something the other day
37:52
about some of the Airbnb
37:54
you know and different kind of these
37:56
groups that allow you to book in other
38:00
people’s homes who’s gonna be using
38:01
those so this is gonna be a slow rolling
38:07
reopening and it you know it could be
38:09
quite some time before where anything
38:11
anywhere near back to normal and the
38:14
politics of that are that’s why I’m
38:18
saying we have seven months seven months
38:21
I spoke not I spoke earlier this morning
38:23
to Senator Portman Rob Portman of Ohio
38:26
Democrats likely who knows he said who
38:29
knows but Democrats likely to keep the
38:31
house because Republicans face so many
38:34
more difficult seats in the Senate than
38:36
do Democrats the Democrats need to flip
38:40
four seats in the Senate and recapture
38:43
the White House and the day after
38:45
election day we will wake up in a
38:47
different country seven months from now
38:51
can you get that economy revving again
38:53
ken yeah I think it’s it’s almost
38:56
impossible just at this very moment to
38:58
look forward and know how any of this is
39:01
gonna play out politically it’s it’s
39:03
very very difficult you know look but I
39:05
will add one other factor in here that I
39:08
think is notable because you mentioned
39:10
it earlier about what the White House’s
39:12
original plan was going to be to talk
39:15
about the economy and talk about
39:16
socialists well I would point out that
39:18
while Bernie Sanders did give a kind of
39:22
concession speech this week and kind of
39:24
dropped out he didn’t really that was
39:27
sort of fake news he says he’s going to
39:29
remain on the ballot on all continuing
39:31
primary states and continue to collect
39:34
as many delegates as he can and the
39:36
purpose of this because we already have
39:38
newspapers reporting it is that he is in
39:40
negotiations
39:41
creations with the Biden’s camp about
39:43
what aspects of his agenda Biden has to
39:46
adopt before Bernie will allow his
39:48
people to support by this isn’t over at
39:51
all
39:51
this isn’t over and he says he’ll go to
39:53
the convention so this is all about
39:55
extracting pounds of policy flesh from
39:58
Joe Biden and they’ve already put out
40:00
their list of demands
40:01
he needs to support Medicare for all he
40:03
needs to support the green New Deal
40:05
he needs to support a 50% reduction in
40:08
prison populations
40:09
he needs to support free college tuition
40:12
a complete forgiveness of all student
40:15
loan debt and it’s well it’s unlikely to
40:18
see Biden doing all about he’s gonna end
40:21
up doing some of it and that is very
40:24
dangerous for Joe Biden if you’re trying
40:26
to get independents disaffected Trump
40:28
voters suburban housewives you know this
40:31
is a point at which he’s supposed to be
40:33
pivoting back to the middle and Bernie
40:34
made clear this week that his intention
40:37
is to make sure there’s no pivot and in
40:39
fact that Joe Biden becomes just as
40:41
unelectable as he was by the way did you
40:44
see the Babylon be headline Sanders
40:47
withdraws from race because goals of
40:49
doubling federal spending and destroying
40:51
capitalism already accomplished no I
40:55
didn’t I shouldn’t laugh laugh or cry so
40:59
I have I’ve got a closing question which
41:03
I’m lovely closing question but I can’t
41:05
close just yet do you I don’t know how
41:09
to articulate this one but Donald Trump
41:15
even people who like him can’t stand him
41:19
up to this point a lot of people the
41:22
position of many people has been oh my
41:26
goodness do we nevertheless on policy
41:28
he’s okay he’s better than the
41:31
alternatives the policy is okay and as
41:34
long as we don’t have to look at him
41:35
it’ll be all right is there some sense
41:39
maybe in which for the first time the
41:46
fate of the ordinary American is linked
41:48
to that guy as we go through this
41:51
there’s some
41:53
something this happens to some
41:55
presidents but not all to some of course
41:58
always to wartime presidents but you
42:01
begin to feel I don’t like him I don’t
42:04
but he’s my guy
42:06
he’s the country’s guy we need him to
42:08
succeed is that sort of is there some
42:11
sense in which there’s a kind of
42:12
deepening of support or beginning of
42:16
some kind of attachment to him as a
42:18
result of this crisis or am I just
42:20
talking romantic not unquantifiable
42:22
romantic nonsense no I mean look I think
42:26
the phenomenon you described is one that
42:29
you would expect to be seeing in a crowd
42:32
in a crisis right I think that as with
42:35
so many ID issues it comes down to
42:40
Donald Trump and it’s fundamentally
42:42
gonna be up to Donald Trump in that
42:45
regard as well to look I look for
42:47
instance just my own view I look at
42:48
these briefings and when I think they
42:50
first started I thought they were a good
42:51
idea it made the president look engaged
42:54
and they had things you know as they
42:56
have gone on and become a little bit
42:58
more the Donald Trump show you know and
43:02
and the drama of the fights with the
43:04
reporters that’s not what people want to
43:05
be seeing right now okay you know they
43:08
want him to get up there deliver the
43:10
news send the message that they’ve got a
43:13
handle on what’s going on and then let
43:17
the rest of the team talk and get on
43:19
with it
43:19
so I’m not quite sure he can help
43:22
himself and you know the thing about
43:24
Donald Trump is I don’t everyone says
43:26
it’s about his ego and everything I
43:28
think it’s more Donald Trump you know he
43:31
I think he thinks he’s you know fully
43:33
engaged in doing the right thing and
43:35
being there for the American people and
43:37
that sometimes a dividing line between
43:38
what Trump wants for Trump and what
43:41
Trump is trying to do for everyone else
43:43
is is is very murky okay
43:46
now we pull back from Donald Trump in
43:48
the current crisis let’s look let’s
43:51
expand our thinking raised our thinking
43:53
from weeks and quarters even two years
43:56
here’s Kim Strauss on The Wall Street
43:58
Journal on March 19th
44:00
the nation’s response to the crisis has
44:03
been made possible quote by free-market
44:06
policies that have under
44:07
written three years of economic boom and
44:09
put companies on a better footing to
44:11
confront hard times if the US is to
44:13
overcome this crisis and future ones we
44:17
need more of these animal spirits not
44:19
less that’s the takeaway of this
44:22
pandemic more animal spirits not less
44:25
are you optimistic well look here’s
44:28
something that I hope our side as you
44:31
were saying embraces we’re talking right
44:34
now about the threat of bigger
44:35
government given all of the spending
44:37
we’re talking right now about the threat
44:39
to the economy and our politics should
44:42
certain you know socialist candidates
44:46
win in November but what I see here is
44:50
also an opportunity for people to
44:52
realize the problems of government okay
44:55
I mean no one we need to make sure no
44:58
one forgets that the reason we’re
44:59
shutdown is because government shut us
45:02
down all right and we need to take a
45:04
look around I have been fascinated how
45:07
many times over the last three weeks
45:08
have we had a story about this or that
45:11
agency dismantling a regulation so that
45:14
something could proceed more quickly I
45:17
think this is an opportunity for us to
45:19
ask why they were there in the first
45:21
place and are they really serving any
45:23
purpose you know maybe we could come out
45:25
of this with a healthier view of
45:27
government and its problems and maybe
45:30
even a smaller more streamlined one if
45:33
we if we do things the right way
45:35
Kym’s Drossel don’t stay in alaska too
45:38
long
45:41
Kimberly Strasse love The Wall Street
45:43
Journal thank you thank you for uncommon
45:46
knowledge the Hoover Institution and Fox
45:49
Nation I’m Peter Robinson
45:52
[Music]
46:01
you