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presidential debates

Don’t Tape Me, Bro! (Ep. 274)

This week’s episode looks at the new Bob Woodward book and Trump’s audio tape confessions, the potential sale of TikTok to Oracle and what that could mean for the popular social media platform, and the state of the presidential race as we march toward the debates.

The Black and White of Vaccine Politics

By Kevin Kelton

There can be little doubt that President Trump will use the announcement of a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough as an October surprise to try to peel voters away from Joe Biden. He will brag about his role in fast-tracking the process and claim that he alone can get it to the American people in an organized, timely fashion. And with only 50 to 100 million doses available in the initial wave of the rollout, the unspoken truth is that some people will be first in line for the “miracle cure” while millions more are left to wait. And wait. And wait.

But what Democrats should be ready for is the racial wedge issue that a vaccine could become. A real American president would never use life-saving drugs as a cultural wedge issue. But for this president, the temptation to dog whistle to the worst instincts of his base may be too strong.

What happens when Trump and his down-ballot surrogates begin to imply that a Biden-Harris administration would favor high-risk demographics such as blacks and the elderly for the first round of vaccines, leaving other Americans unprotected from the disease? Is Biden ready to respond when Trump wonders aloud if Joe and Kamala would target the those precious life-saving doses to their elite blue state supporters at the expense of hard-working voters in the heartland (i.e., white people)? How do you deny a charge like that?

Biden better be ready to hear Trump drop that loaded accusation in one of the debates. A question about how each candidate plans to implement a vaccine rollout is the perfect moment for Trump to suggest that “some people are saying” Biden would target the first doses to his black and elite coastal supporters as a political reward while leaving “most Americans” (the racist dog whistle) to continue to perish.

Will Biden be caught by surprise? Will he be able to cobble a stronger rebuttal than “that’s poppycock” and “c’mon, man!”

Once those charges are blasted into the public consciousness, all bets are off. You’ll have Tucker Carlson asking, “Who do you want making decisions about whether your family gets vaccinated? King Fauci and Cory Booker?” I can hear Trump’s rabid supporters echoing those thoughts on social media. “Can you really trust white lives to people who think only Black Lives Matter?” 

If the Biden-Harris campaign is smart, they will preempt such an attack by announcing their own rollout plan first. Instead of simply parroting the tired bromide that he’ll turn to the scientists and ethicists to decide (as he’s already said), Biden should release a detailed position paper that explains how his White House would administer the vaccine program and what will be the specific medical criteria for who gets the first wave of inoculations.

A coronavirus vaccine will come in it’s own time, but the presidential candidates better be ready to answer hard questions about what they’ll do with it. The campaign that owns that issue may own the late-breaking voters in November.

It’s clear that Donald Trump will use any tactic at his disposal to win those voters. The only question is, will Joe Biden be prepared.

Kevin Kelton is a cohost of The More Perfect Union podcast and founder of Open Fire Politics.

 

The Trump Kiss…Of Death


This episode of the “A More Perfect Union” podcast finds the gang looking at red states that might turn blue,  states where Donald Trump is still campaigning but shouldn’t be, states that Hillary Clinton has locked down, states that could go to a third party candidate, and swing states that could decide the election. Oh yeah, and they talk about Trump’s crazy sex scandal because, hey… who isn’t?

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If you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Emily, Greg, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Don’t Score the Debate Until SNL Does

Immediately after Monday night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the cable networks will use pundits and flash polls to try to tell you who won. Don’t believe them. On Tuesday they will parade out campaign surrogates and online polls to tell you who won. Don’t believe them. On Wednesday and Thursday they will use newspaper editorials and major national polls to tell you who won. And you may think by then you know how it all played out.

But you still won’t.

Don’t score the first presidential debate until Saturday Night Live lampoons it when the show returns for its 42nd season on October 1, and the news media reacts to that event. Only then will you know who really came out on top.

Though it’s only a comedy show, SNL has set the national perception for presidential debates going back four decades. Political pundits can analyze and deconstruct the real matchup, but well-written satire almost always creates the more lasting – and damaging – impression. Read More

Born In the U.S.A.

On this week’s “A More Perfect Union” podcast, the gang discusses Donald Trump’s admission that Barack Obama was indeed born in the United States, the mass hysteria of hatred toward Hillary Clinton, whether Bernie Sanders can still move millennials back toward Clinton, and what we might see in the first presidential debate. Hosted by D.J. McGuire, Greg Matusak, Cliff Dunn, and Kevin Kelton.

Check out this episode!

If you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Emily, Greg, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Trump’s Taco Trucks

 

Segments:
Taco Truck Tuesday for the Trump campaign

Gary Johnson’s big endorsement

Great debate flops (including Ronald Reagan)

Who’d gain most if Johnson is in the debates?

Jill Stein’s city mixup

Why John Kasich is a donkey butt (of sorts)

Send us your questions!

Check out this episode

If you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Emily, Greg, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Donald’s Terrible, Awful, Not-So-Good Week

SEGMENTS:

Could Gary Kroeger be the next Al Franken?

Gary channels Walter Mondale and Alan Alda (and millennials go, “Whaaaat?)

Donald Trump’s terrible, awful, not-so-good week (and Republicans go, “Whaaaat?”)

Hillary Clinton gets caught in a lie about lying (and the media goes, “Whaaaat?”)

Gary Johnson does a Town Hall (and 90% of America goes, “Whaaaat?”)

State of the Race