By Robert A. Vella
One of the prerequisites for successful political candidates is enthusiasm. Not only must the candidate have demonstrable passion for the job they seek, they must also generate that same level of zeal among voters. Lukewarm candidates have a harder time gaining support and raising money while angry, bitter, and overly aggressive candidates risk turning-off large swaths of the electorate. Yes, it’s true that some voters are motivated primarily by policy issues and other intellectual considerations; but, elections tend to swing on more intangible concerns. Most people are guided by their perceptions and instincts, and voters’ choices generally come down to who they like and dislike plus how much they like or dislike a candidate. Obviously, this aspect of human nature isn’t ideal for democracy, but the alternative of autocracy is infinitely less desirable.
For President Donald Trump, his reelection campaign has clearly fallen into the category of an angry, bitter, and overly aggressive candidate who is turning-off large swaths of the electorate. His loyal base is as fanatical as ever, but it is steadily shrinking in size. The vast majority of Americans do not like him and about half of Americans despise him. This combination of a shrinking base and a growing opposition is a political dynamic which historically has affected the voting patterns of people who are less passionate and more thoughtful about supporting candidates especially in presidential elections. For example, Jimmy Carter was widely admired as a good person (and still is) when he ran for reelection in 1980; however, the four years of his presidency painted the picture of a politician who was in over his head. That public image may have been undeserved, but it was decisive in his loss to Ronald Reagan. Not only did some who voted for him in 1976 stay home in 1980, many more voted against him. The result was a crushing defeat.
This year, Trump has deservedly earned the image of a president way in over his head; and, he is broadly disliked to boot. That spells big trouble for his reelection hopes. Yesterday, he kicked-off his campaign tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma – one day after the Juneteenth anniversary of the final emancipation of slaves in the old Confederacy, and three weeks after the anniversary of a brutal massacre of blacks in that city. Trump’s campaign spokesman boasted that one million supporters would attend the rally from the surrounding deep red-states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and beyond. Instead, approximately 12,000
-13,000 showed up (according to the Trump campaign) which filled only about two-thirds of the 19,000 seat indoor arena (the Tulsa Fire Department said the number of attendees was 6,200). Embarrassed by the low turnout, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence cancelled an outdoor event scheduled to follow it.
Also on Saturday, Trump contradicted his own Attorney General (William Barr) by insisting that he didn’t fire the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Geoffrey Berman) even though that was the only legal way to do it. Now, condemnation is raining down on Trump again for this latest obstruction of justice because SDNY has been investigating several criminal activities by his inner circle. Not only has Trump’s former National Security Advisor (John Bolton) joined the fray, his personal lawyer (Rudy Giuliani, who is one of the targets of the investigations) has also publicly admitted the reason for the firing.
Here’s the news:
(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump’s first campaign rally since coronavirus swept the U.S. will be remembered more for what the president would rather forget, as his attempt to reset his re-election bid drew a disappointing crowd in a safe state.
The event in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday attracted far fewer supporters than Trump and his advisers had promised. And it was overshadowed by continuing criticism of his response to the pandemic and to nationwide protests against police brutality.
The ouster of the top federal prosecutor in New York emerged as a fresh controversy just hours before the president touched down in the city.
TULSA, Okla. — President Trump’s attempt to revive his re-election campaign sputtered badly on Saturday night as he traveled to Tulsa for his first mass rally in months and found a far smaller crowd than his aides had promised him, then delivered a disjointed speech that did not address the multiple crises facing the nation or scandals battering him in Washington.
The weakness of Mr. Trump’s drawing power and political skills, in a state that voted for him overwhelmingly and in a format that he favors, raised new questions about his electoral prospects for a second term at a time when his poll numbers were already falling. And rather than speak to the wide cross-section of Americans who say they are concerned about police violence and systemic racism, he continued to use racist language, describing the coronavirus as “Kung Flu.”
While the president’s campaign had claimed that more than a million people had sought tickets for the rally, the 19,000-seat BOK Center was at least one-third empty during the rally. A second, outdoor venue was so sparsely attended that he and Vice President Mike Pence both canceled appearances there.
The Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to oust the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman have set off a firestorm in Washington, with Democrats accusing President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr of possible “obstruction of justice” by meddling in an office known to be conducting ongoing investigations of potential interest to Trump.
In his exclusive interview during a one-hour special airing Sunday, 9 p.m. ET with ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz prior to the stunning series of events Friday night, former national security adviser John Bolton discussed an episode from his forthcoming memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” in which he said President Trump previously floated the idea of intervening in the Southern District related to its investigation of a state-owned Turkish bank.
In the interview, Bolton said of the December 2018 exchange, “it did feel like obstruction of justice to me.”
NEW YORK — Rudy Giuliani isn’t shedding any tears over Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman’s firing.
Giuliani — who remains under investigation by Berman’s office — suggested Saturday that President Donald Trump may have axed the Manhattan fed because he didn’t manage his staff properly and pursued some “bulls — t” criminal inquiries.
In a phone interview with The New York Daily News just after the ouster was announced, Giuliani, the personal attorney for Trump, said he remains dumbfounded as to how Berman could’ve allowed information to leak that his office was investigating him over potential foreign lobbying violations.
READ: US attorney Geoffrey Berman says he’s leaving his post [after Attorney General William Barr sent him a letter saying that President Donald Trump had removed him.]
Berman relents, leaves post as US attorney after taking stand against firing – The statement came soon after President Trump sought to distance himself from the firing, publicly contradicting a letter sent earlier in the day to Berman by Attorney General William Barr who said Trump removed Berman after Barr requested it.
Eight minority Ramsey County corrections officers have filed discrimination charges with the state’s Department of Human Rights after they were barred from guarding or having any other contact with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last month.
Chauvin was booked at the county jail the same day he was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
As Chauvin arrived, all officers of color were ordered to a separate floor, and a supervisor told one of them that, because of their race, they would be a potential “liability” around Chauvin, according a copy of racial discrimination charges obtained by the Star Tribune.
“I understood that the decision to segregate us had been made because we could not be trusted to carry out our work responsibilities professionally around the high-profile inmate — solely because of the color of our skin,” wrote one acting sergeant, who is black. “I am not aware of a similar situation where white officers were segregated from an inmate.”