With the president and first lady’s early Friday diagnosis of Covid-19, a presidential campaign that is already one of the strangest in American history just got weirder.
Though, of course, the Left showed the class and compassion we’ve come to expect from it.
WaPo has deleted this tweet, which was sent out about an hour after Trump announced to the world he and the First Lady’s positive COVID-19 test. pic.twitter.com/GG2XjDTmW5
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) October 2, 2020
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The entire plot reads like a bad television script, “neck and neck race, then main character is struck down with a disease.” But it is the reality. How does it affect the contest?
First, the president is physically sidelined for at least two weeks in the last month of the campaign. It’s like losing an All-Pro quarterback for the first half of the fourth quarter when the Super Bowl is tied. Pence can take over some of his duties as a candidate, as can family and political surrogates. However, it’s not the same and will drive Trump crazy to sit in the White House while Biden is on the campaign trail. It puts a break on momentum as well, a very dangerous development for the endgame of any political effort.
But, yes, it offers some political bright sides. It has engendered some sympathy for the president. Even Rachel Maddow said, “God bless the president and first lady.” Wow. Who knew she believed in God?
It humanizes the president and most press and Democrats know to hit him too hard right now could cause a backlash in the president’s favor. It also changes the subject. The job numbers just out are not great and there are still negative impressions over his debate performance. But with Trump Covid info chewing up the news cycle those stories won’t have the media impact they would have otherwise.
And speaking of the next debates, do they happen? Perhaps the next is canceled and a last one scheduled the week before the election goes ahead. The president needs another debate, although he didn’t lose the first one, to give voters a better look at a positive Trump message before Election Day.
The president will also still be able to conduct some campaign events remotely. Even rallies could be theoretically put on with a live video hookup. Knowing Donald Trump, he will use every trick and tool at his disposal to mitigate the damage his Covid diagnosis has on his campaign. Per his presidential duties, he remains on the job.
It also creates a bond between the president, first lady, and the many who have suffered through Covid. It is reminiscent of the words of Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, in the WWII London Blitz. After much of London had been bombed, Buckingham Palace and its grounds suffered attacks on sixteen occasions, nine of which included direct hits on the Palace. After one damaging bombing of the Palace, people thought the queen would be upset. She wasn’t. Her Majesty was relieved. She famously declared: “I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face”. The first lady and the president may be feeling the same way.