- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

They began arriving Monday. Fans of President Trump began lining up outside the Bok Arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, five days early to ensure they get a seat, according to KJRH, the local NBC affiliate.

Indeed, the president will stage a bodacious Make America Great Again campaign rally Saturday at this gargantuan venue — which seats 19,000 people. Criticism from the news media and alarmed political rivals has been heavy. But what about the people themselves?


A hefty portion of conservatives and Republicans favor big, bustling political conventions: 63% of conservatives and 60% of Republican say the Republican National Convention should go on as scheduled in August for example — compared to 22% of both liberals and Democrats who say the same of their own convention, also set for August. And another contrast: 48% of Democrats favor canceling their national convention, compared to 23% of Republicans. So says a new Economist/YouGov poll released Monday.

Though local health officials fret about the rally — it drew 1 million requests for tickets — Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum won’t stand in the way by invoking local civil emergency authority.

“We have been following the state of Oklahoma’s guidelines for reopening every industry since May 1. Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans go to work every day in buildings that have adjusted their operations along these guidelines. The Trump campaign has agreed to follow those guidelines as well,” Mr. Bynum said in a statement Tuesday.

So it’s all good — except, perhaps, for the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden.

“While the lockdowns allowed Biden to hide his all greatest flaws, they also prevented Donald Trump from using his greatest strengths. The president is at his best in front of energized crowds at his massive rallies. Due to the coronavirus, he has not utilized his most potent tool just yet. However, the reinvigoration of the Trump campaign through its heavily attended events will serve as a reminder of the reasons why he won four years ago,” writes Kristin Tate, an opinion contributor to The Hill.

“President Trump is about to hit the road again and do what he does best — take his case to the people personally at a massive rally. It is beyond past the time for him to get out there. Trump is the candidate that excels at retail politics, Biden is best kept out of the public eye, so the pandemic shutdown madness hasn’t been the greatest thing for the Trump campaign. He needs a rally or twelve to kickstart a plague-hampered push to the finish line,” writes Stephen Kruiser, associate editor of PJ Media.

“The overwrought reaction from the media is proof positive that getting back on the campaign trail is the right thing to do. At bare minimum, it’s exposing their hypocrisy. After weeks of seeing thousands of people flood the streets for riots and protests that have been championed by the media, the prospect of a Trump rally has suddenly made the brave journalist class oh-so-concerned about COVID-19 again,” Mr. Kruiser says.

AT THE CORE OF THE BIG APPLE

Things are always complicated in New York, particularly as its top leadership grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s threat to shut Gotham back down is garbage, and he knows it. How can he, or New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, justify penalizing anyone for drinking or dining in the streets, when they all but cheer people protesting?” asks a new editorial from The New York Post, which cites the mayor for recently appearing at a public demonstration without a face mask.

“Of course, the national media have been largely silent over the protests’ potential health impact — even as they’re having fits over President Trump’s plan to hold a rally on June 20,” the editorial continued.

“The obvious distinction is that reporters and editors see the protests as speech they support — and Trump rallies as anything but. Our liberal politicians publicly lean the same way, so they focus on people having a good time drinking rather than those riding on the moral high of protest. The double standard is obvious, and erodes the trust of the public who admirably adhered to this era-changing lockdown. Why believe anything the governor, the mayor or the media tell you when they set one rule for certain people and one rule for others?” the Post asked.

FOR THE LEXICON

“V-shaped recovery.”

This term is associated with good news. Morgan Stanley has advised the public that if there is a coronavirus recession, it will deliver a “sharp but short” jolt to the global economy In a new advisory, the bank told clients there would be a “V-shaped recovery” on the economic charts — a sharp rise back from low marks to previous high marks. Thus the V-shape.

“We have greater confidence in our call for a V-shaped recovery, given recent upside surprises in growth data and policy action. The global economy bottomed in April and the recovery will gather further momentum, making this a short recession,” predicts chief economist Chetan Ahya.

ON THE RADAR

Partisan rancor appears out of control these days. But it has always been thus, according to author and presidential historian Tevi Troy, author of the newly released “Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump” — a tell-all book which examines all the squabbling, drama, and intrigue in the Oval Office in recent decades.

Mr. Troy — who served as a senior White House aide during the George W. Bush administration — will offer his perspectives with Carnegie Mellon University scholar Kiron Skinner on this phenomenon during a Wednesday discussion with the Bipartisan Policy Center — a think tank in the nation’s capital, It will be streamed online at 2 p.m. EDT. Find it all at bipartisanpolicy.org/events.

POLL DU JOUR

85% of U.S. adults say it’s likely they will social distance if a second wave of coronavirus takes place.

79% say they likely will “stop having gatherings” of friends and family.

77% say they likely will keep their children home from school or child care.

73% say they likely will stop going to “non-grocery retail stores.”

65% likely will self-quarantine.

Source: An AXIOS/IPSOS SURVEY of 1,022 U.S. adults conducted June 12-15.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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